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One of the worst crimes of social media, among many, is how algorithmic content presentation assumes people have no interest in individuals, only topics. It's so inhuman! What fuckup went 'ah yes, this person follows people who post trees, they must only be interested in trees, not the person. Trees, coming up!'

Like, that's the opposite of social! It fosters the opposite of a human connection. Instead of relating to the person it constantly suggests that you only engage with topics. What's so sad is that so many people are totally acclimated to this. They act like topics instead of people, and bring this attitude with them even off of social media.

When was the last time you asked someone to tell you about themselves and they just listed out things they like? Even I do this.

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@Mainebot i will take random shitposts from my favorite person over interesting dialogue about the human condition any day

@Mainebot @Gargron that’s what I’m saying! What I want is basically a forum for discourse. I have other ways of getting news so I want what people _say_ to be front and center on my feeds. And I think a lot of people actually want that, but since we (colloquial we, I know we’re not on FB) are not the customers of FB we’re the product, FB doesn’t care what we want as long as we keep using the service and they’re making money.

@Mainebot totally agreed, but also where do I sign up for this tree content?

@Mainebot it's so bad I have just given it a proper name: The Algorithm

It is composed of actual people making horrible choices, using psychology to destroy lives in pursuit of advertising dollars, across numerous companies, but...

It's still evil.

@Mainebot Not sure this is true for the algorithms. You follow people, not topics. The algorithmic feeds show people you interact with a lot and people your friends interact with.

On the other hand, I have several accounts. The ones where I am least personal, post about a topic where I have expertise have much more followers than accounts where I am just an average dude (living in Bonn).

@Mainebot The one exception is celebrities, who are deemed important enough (by capital, and its proxies in the various algorithms and institutions) to graduate from person to Topic unto themselves.

@Mainebot ohh lord i could really get into this because i’ve just come from vsco and there were endless strategic discussions about

- those who follow more accounts, spend more time in the app
- those who spend more time in the app, are more likely to buy memberships
- how do we get people to follow more accounts?

of course you add features to peep at someone’s address book / contacts, add who’s there, and send out invites. but that doesn’t pay off as highly as messing with the feed

@Mainebot i was in favor of the not-new approach of improving search so one could search for a subject like ‘trees,’ and follow it.

but that’s all the way over there on a new screen; “shouldn’t we know what the user wants before they tell us?”

and that last part is the most pernicious argument. i could never really counter it. it’s like. growth gospel 😑

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