MISPhD Research Seminar Series: How the Facebook News Feed Algorithm Affects User Beliefs & Behavior

Posted on: February 4, 2016

Emilee Rader
Assistant Professor, AT&T Scholar, Michigan State University

emilee raderABSTRACT >> People are becoming increasingly reliant on online sociotechnical systems that employ algorithmic curation to organize and present information. The Facebook News Feed is one example: it prioritizes posts for display by ranking them based on users’ past interactions with the system. But, users may not know the extent to which their choices about what to read or who to communicate with are constrained by the algorithm. I will describe evidence of algorithm behavior that users notice and respond to and beliefs they form about its selection and ranking criteria. I will also discuss what happened when we triggered participants’ awareness of “missed posts” that they did not remember seeing before. These findings have implications for approaches to improve user control and increase transparency in systems that use algorithmic filtering.
Refreshments served during talk.

The MISPhD Research Seminar Series presents on a regular schedule speakers drawn from MSU and other universities whose research should be of interest to MISPhD Program faculty and students. Speakers are a mix of faculty and graduate students who have completed their coursework and are doing independent research.


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Date(s) - 02/04/2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Room 184, Communication Arts & Sciences Building

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