This article was published on July 1, 2016

College Humor bit about Facebook’s ‘Algorithm Mafia’ is surprisingly accurate

Bryan Clark
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Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Is it life imitating art, or art imitating life? I can’t ever be sure, but one thing is for certain: what was once satire is now becoming eerily accurate representations of real-world occurrences.

Silicon Valley, for example, was once just HBO’s way of poking fun at the tech world, but some now believe it might be the most accurate portrayal of the community ever aired. It’s not just television either. The Onion, an online satire rag has actually nailed some rather unbelievable-sounding headlines, proving its writers might just be able to see the future.

Or, there’s this video by College Humor.

In it, a poor woman is accosted by three goons meant to portray Facebook’s algorithm. After finding out what she wants to see — her friend’s baby, a new puppy from another friend — she’s instead forced to view information about vaccines, articles about strawberries and generally unpleasant stories that one might find posted by those that you really can’t remember why you added on Facebook in the first place — or family, which you can’t remove without upsetting Aunt Carla.

But, such is life, right? The product is free and Facebook is in control; although, there are some workarounds.

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