The Power of Algorithms | Shift Videos | DW | 04.04.2017
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The Power of Algorithms

Algorithms are exercising more and more control over internet users’ decisions. Algorithms suggest products, playlists, and news reports based on people's surfing behaviour. Resistance to this manipulation is growing.

Which songs do you want to hear? Which films do you want to watch? An algorithm already knows. Some services on the internet show videos or play songs at random, resisting the dictates of algorithms. But algorithms don't just influence consumer decisions of this kind. Social platforms like Facebook use algorithms to recognize what information and opinions users are supposedly interested in. For example, people who subscribe to articles or Facebook accounts that promulgate a certain political standpoint are later shown additional content confirming that opinion. This can harden existing positions.