by

The Stupidity Concentrator – Balloon Juice:

For all the talk of AI and “algorithms”, the algorithm that Facebook and YouTube use is pretty simple: find out what people who care about topic X search for and watch, and give them more of it. This is a recipe for the aggregation of stupidity when there’s a lot of idiocy surrounding topic X. In the case of vaccines, only people who are looking for excuses to shore up their stupid intuitions about vaccines are searching on social media, so the social media “AI” clumps them all together and gives them a playground where their dumb shit can fester and grow. The non-stupid parents either just take their pediatrician’s word, or they use Google to find recommendations from trusted authorities like the CDC.

Zuckerberg and other tech bros say they want to do something about this, but it costs money to tune their algorithms, and it also costs money to curtail advertising. So they make noises about changing, but when I searched Google today for “facebook vaccine” the first two results that aren’t news stories are Facebook pages for anti-vax grifters (the “Vaccine Resistance Movement” and “Vactruth.com”).

These assholes need regulation.