One of the issues we discussed at length when the Social Mediums first started working at the GC was how to embody our programs on Facebook. At the time, Facebook was working to suspend “fake” people. Some of us wanted the social interaction that was only available to a person–there is something meaningful in, say, the GC Music Program “liking” the photo of a music student’s most recent recital. Then, there was some consternation deciding to have a “group” vs. a “page.” This change looks like it opens up some of the possibilities we’d missed out on originally. I’m interested in how this changes the way our programs can engage with current and prospective students, as well as faculty and visiting scholars. — Paul, English Social Media Fellow.
Managing Twitter feeds is a daily chore for us. The infamous “algorithm”, introduced in 2016 substantially changed the Twitter experience–according to most people for the worst. This article from Mashable explains how Twitter has restored some of the original, chronological functions. — Paul, English Social Media Fellow
5/ Meanwhile, today we updated the “Show the best Tweets first” setting. When off, you’ll only see Tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see “In case you missed it” and recommended Tweets from people you don’t follow.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 17, 2018
The announcement comes after Twitter users have come up with ways to try and circumvent the algorithmic timeline.
Following up on our recent post from The New York Times about apps that infiltrate your social media feeds to get your out of your “bubble,” this new app from the New Yorker steps into your social feed to insert poetry.
It seems interesting that while the name for these technologies, Social Media, implies social interaction, increasingly tools such as the apps we’re discussing this week and last are decidedly antisocial. They’re lines of code that have little to do with our friends or our social sphere. These algorithmic incursions, like Netflix’s suggestions which embody their own biases, are thought to be neutral (although to be fair, this poetry bot uses poetry collected by The New Yorker‘s Poetry Editor, so it’s not an algorithm in the same way as Amazon’s suggestions are).
It is interesting to think about how we cultivate our social media “feeds” and what each of them represent as we engage, sometimes socially, with these lines of communication, often on our own, alone. — Social Mediums
While we often think of social media as a tool to reach out to others and build communities, there has been increasing discussion in the U.S. about how our digital communities also isolate us.
In this piece from The New York Times, the author describes a number of apps and tools that transform your usual social media tools so that you can view the world from inside the bubble inhabited by a person with a vastly different political view point than you. –Social Mediums