On curator bias


Once in a while it’s healthy to remind ourselves that the “curators” of our media are people, so that we’re less likely to blindly duplicate whatever biases they may have.

This idea is at least as old as the job of newspaper editor, but seeing through the bias is arguably more work now. There are more of these curators, and they vary in size and scope – from that guy on Twitter who reposts news stories to the algorithm that leans toward its creators’ preferences to the multinational corporate media empire – and while it’s possible to build a personal media dietout of different sources that contradict each other and reveal each other’s failings, it’s at least aas easy to build a personal media diet based on filter bubbles and confirmation bias.

I was just reminded of this by a curator at Pocket, who I assume (from the three recent stories in my web browser’s “recommended by Pocket” section) either has a tiny house and hates it or just hates the idea of them. I saw two of these stories this afternoon; the third was a couple weeks ago (I clipped it on the 23rd). And unlike a certain infamous example, Pocket’s feed isn’t “personalized” or otherwise algo-spun (much), so no, clicking on one didn’t show me the other two. Someone at Pocket thinks “tiny houses suck” stories are just that damn relevant and has dumped a bunch of them into the feed.

Categories: PiecesTags: , ,

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