Could Facebook's Algorithm Influence Voters?

Email a Friend
President Obama speaks as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on during a town hall meeting April 20, 2011 at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

Beyond the echo chamber effect of only seeing the opinions of your Facebook "friends", Max Read, senior editor for New York Magazine and their new tech website Select All, discusses about the possibility that Facebook could influence political opinions through its own micro-targeting.

Read said the way Facebook uses algorithms and user data to funnel information they believe users have showcased an interest in, can be employed with political campaign candidates. There's already evidence that presenting users with posts that contain information supported by their peers can be very influential. Read said that despite the ways social media has been used for good, including affecting social change, it's important to question how huge corporations like Facebook and Google are influencing the content we consume. 

"I think it's important that we all recognize that these are in fact corporations that have their own goals and agendas that sometimes match up with our's and sometimes don't," he said. "Even something as innocuous as giving you something you want to see can strongly influence your perception of the world around you."