Last week, PragerU posted analytics data from Facebook showing a number of its videos were “completely invisible to its more than 3 million followers”.
“This is a first for us,” PragerU CMO Craig Strazzeri said in a news release. “While we’ve experienced blatant discrimination from Google/YouTube, which is why we’ve filed legal action against them, this represents a whole new level of censorship by Facebook.
Facebook apologized directly to the organization on Twitter, posting “We mistakenly removed these videos and have restored them because they don't break our standards. This will reverse any reduction in content distribution you’ve experienced. We’re very sorry and are continuing to look into what happened with your Page.”
This, along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitting over the weekend that social media employees' political views lean largely to the left, has shed some light on a larger problem in how Americans consume information.
According to Pew Research Center, about two thirds (67 percent) of Americans get at least some of their news from social media, which is one of the main culprits in the rise of filter bubbles.
Filter bubbles insulate us from different viewpoints through personalized searches or website algorithms, which show us what we want to see based on our past search history and online behavior. They reinforce our worldview and block out opposing perspectives.
And that's not even considering the filter bubbles we create for ourselves, selectively following only news outlets that fit with our beliefs and un-friending people who post things we don't agree with.
No wonder we are so polarized as a society.
PragerU isn't the first conservative outlet to cry foul that Silicon Valley is filtering out their views, and whether you lean to the left, to the right, or find yourself somewhere in the middle, the fact is we all benefit from being exposed to a diverse spectrum of ideas.
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