Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Holding algorithms (and the people behind them) accountable is still tricky, but doable
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May 7, 2012, 10:21 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   May 7, 2012

That’s Buzzfeed’s claim, from founder Jonah Peretti as echoed here by Buzzfeed president Jon Steinberg. The argument is that we like to intermingle our streams of information — to be talking about the news one minute, philosophy the next, our last meal the next.

It’s why BuzzFeed can tangle with the White House, on the same day as having the great memey post 23 Reasons Why May Is Going To Be The Best Month Ever. We think people want a mix of all different types of social content, and we think an intermingling, organized by social, is what makes the most sense in today’s world. And the Facebook newsfeed and the Twitter feed, prove that in the social era you consume content like you sit at the Paris Cafe…

The newsfeed changes everything — it’s multifaceted, social, and fast — and that’s why social publishing is so different from traditional publishing. In fact, it resembles the Paris cafe more than it does the newspapers we grew up with.

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Holding algorithms (and the people behind them) accountable is still tricky, but doable
“We were able to demystify this black box, this algorithm that had very scary connotations, and break it down into what ended up being a very simple linear model.”
Fill in the blanks: What’s still missing from the study of fake news? (A whole lot.)
A big new report from the Hewlett Foundation pulls together existing research on social media, political polarization, and disinformation to show where we still need to know more.
Google announces a $300M ‘Google News Initiative’ (though this isn’t about giving out grants directly to newsrooms, like it does in Europe)
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