Shot in the Dark: Researchers Peer Under the Lid of Facebook's 'Black Box,' Uncovering How Its Algorithm Accelerates Anti-Vaccine Content   [open pdf - 0B]

"New Avaaz research finds that Facebook's 'related pages' algorithm continues to recommend pages that promote anti-vaccine content to users, despite the platform's pledge to tackle [hyperlink] COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] and vaccine misinformation, and its stated commitment [hyperlink] to avoid making page recommendations that could be ' low-quality, objectionable, or particularly sensitive. ' This troubling trend persists as more research shows a link between consumption of anti-vaccine misinformation and increased vaccine hesitation [hyperlink] and President Biden singled out [hyperlink] Facebook's handling of COVID-19 misinformation, remarking that '[t]hey're killing people.' While Avaaz has previously shed light [hyperlink] on the scale and spreaders of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation on Facebook, our new research demonstrates that Facebook's algorithm can actually accelerate such content by recommending pages with low-quality and objectionable content to users. [...] 'Over the course of two days, we used two new Facebook accounts to follow vaccine-related pages that Facebook suggested for us. Facebook's algorithm directed us to 109 pages, with 1.4M followers, containing anti-vaccine content -- including pages from well-known anti-vaccine advocates and organizations['.]"

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Avaaz: https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/
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