Two domestic stories have dominated American social media for well over a week: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the ongoing protests in Ferguson. But as many have pointed out, where we’re getting news about each has broken down along platform lines: Facebook is the place to share ice bucket videos, while Twitter is the constantly refreshing stream of news from Ferguson.

The reason for the split, as Digiday and others have pointed out, may be that Facebook’s algorithm is specifically designed to show you feel-good stories—ones that you’re more likely to share. Violence and strife are bad for virality. When the Washington Post’s Tim Herrera cataloged every post served to him in his Facebook feed, he discovered that he was shown only 29 percent of the total posts made by people in his network. Facebook hid plenty of stuff Herrera wasn’t interested in, but also plenty of stuff he thought he cared about—posts from two of his hometown newspapers as well as one of his favorite blogs (or one that “I thought was among my favorite blogs,” Facebook’s algorithm having placed a seed of doubt in Herrera’s mind). [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-wb – Michael’s Blog

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