Richard Guerry (Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication), explains how social media algorithms work to deliver controversial content that leads to “echo chambers” at the #AskTheExperts webinar “PITR, IKR?: Youth and Communication in the Digital Age” on October 19, 2022.
[Richard Guerry]: What happens in social media when you see something that’s funny or heartwarming, you’re raising money. People like it, move on. They like it and they move on. That’s what we do at the warm and the fuzzy. But as we all know, watching this, there’s an old saying, right? “If it bleeds, it leads.” So you start throwing things and an algorithm is collecting your data. Then that AI algorithm throws things that are controversial at you. You are going to start getting engaged and then they start throwing it at other people. And what happens to those people? They go into a rabbit hole, and that rabbit hole becomes an echo chamber. And the longer they’re in that echo chamber getting mad or upset or, you know, whatever, however it is they’re feeling, that’s being done purposely by AI. Why? Because every page view and every moment you are on that algorithm, on that platform, you’re generating revenue for that company.
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The latest research (and perspectives from teens themselves) on trends in youth digital communication and tips for creating positive and connection-centered communication online or offline.
Ann Cameron, PhD
Honorary Emerita Professor of Psychology; Emerita Professor
Sherry Turkle, PhD
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology; Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self
Sebastian Wachs, PhD
Deputy Professor for Education and Socialization Theory; Honorary Research Fellow
Founder and Executive Director