THE MISSION

The goal of this experiment is to glimpse into the seemingly mysterious and methodical ways that algorithms shape our experience online. I’m hopeful that my findings will allow me to inform others about how their own online activity is being used to feed them content.

 
 
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  • Jordan Kahn

Day 8: 11/1/18

It's been a while since my last post due to my schedule being pretty hectic. However, with the midterm elections rapidly approaching, I'm going to make an effort to post more frequently in the coming week.


I began on the conservative profile with a routine visit to the Fox News main site. I was greeted with a huge banner ad for the Fox cable news network. This could be a sign of more targeted ads, or it could just be Fox cross promoting their different platforms.

A few days ago. A podcast called "The Daily" made by the New York Times did a piece on a rather fringe right-wing media website called Mad World News. It has been getting a lot of attention, especially in terms of engagement on Facebook, so I decided to add it to my repertoire of reliably conservative sites.

Funny enough, though, there was a popup JB Pritzker ad in the bottom corner of the page. His ads have been consistently popping up no matter what website or which profile I'm on, which I guess really says something about his campaign strategy.


Twitter was pretty quiet considering the amount of time I've been away from it. I did have quite a few notifications, though. Also my recommended follows seem to align with the political affiliation I'm going for.


On the liberal profile, some of my go-to websites are giving me slightly more targeted advertising. I think the biggest win is getting a New York Times ad because they are generally considered to more liberal than conservative, although they do try to remain unbiased.

Contrary to the conservative Twitter, the liberal Twitter had a trove of interesting information when I logged on. I noticed that most of the tweets in my feed were now coming from political figures and pundits rather than the usual slew of links to New York Times and Washington Post articles about random topics. In addition, the ads I was given seem to be tilted towards a more liberal demographic, as seen by the home cooking delivery service ad in the photo below.


In addition to my normal research, I added a section to the website with interesting information surrounding the topic of social media, search algorithms, and political filter bubbles. There is not much there now, but click on the About tab at the top right of the site to see more. If you have any information you think would be a good addition, you can send it to me at jordankahn2@gmail.com

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