We are all victims of scrolling though our Facebook newsfeeds aimlessly, but when you stop and think about it, how often are you affected by the news that is presented on your personal newsfeed? It always seems to be the same types of articles. That’s because Facebook controls what comes up in one’s newsfeed by an algorithm. This means that what you have previously clicked on will depend on your what shows up in the present. This could have a huge affect on what types of news you hear.
A lot of people who log onto Facebook are seeing certain news for the first time, before seeing it on TV or other internet sources. You see news and then won’t look elsewhere because everyone is preoccupied with other things, and it’s a good way to know what is going on. In the US, 64% of the population use Facebook, and 30% of those users get their news from it. Which can be described at an incidental experience, as 78% of Facebook users see news on their newsfeeds when they are on Facebook in the first place for other reasons.
Facebook’s algorithm helps to make your newsfeed tailored to you but what you see also depends on how often to click on links and what links are put up. There is something to be said about the placing of context on a Facebook page as well. Studies show that the users click rate on hard news is affected by how and where the link is positions on one’s page. If a post is placed at the top of one’s homepage it is 10-15% more likely to be clicked on. There are also filters for cross-cutting hard news that wouldn’t agree with your views.
News gest more biased as it passes though social media. There is nothing we can really do expect be aware that what you see when you open up your newsfeed is based on what an algorithm equates you enjoy with a bit of controversy to your views to spice it up once in a while.