The Age of Algorithmic Anxiety

Kyle Chayka for the New Yorker:

…[s]ocial networks have always purported to show us things that we like—things that we might have organically gravitated to ourselves. Why, then, can it feel as though the entire ecosystem of content that we interact with online has been engineered to influence us in ways that we can’t quite parse, and that have only a distant relationship to our own authentic preferences?

I think there was a period of time where there was an algorithm trying to figure out things you might like and showing them to you. But these days? The algorithm” is whoever pays Instagram.”

I think there used to be a period of time where clicking I don’t like this” might have done something. But I’m not sure that button presses anything anymore.


September 13, 2022