Why is the Medium Algorithm Filling My Feed With Racist Garbage?
No, seriously. Every time I look at the page I see some ignorant rant about “woke culture" and it’s got thousands of claps. Maybe 25 responses mostly telling the guy off.
People are getting paid to write this shit. Not much but a hell of a lot more than I get paid. Maybe they’re getting ten entire dollars for an hour of work, why that’s unfortunately more than the federal minimum wage oh my god that’s depressing, excuse me. Write whatever you want and publish it, free speech, fine*, but it’s getting shared on the front page on my feed. There are a lot of racists and sexists and homophobes and transphobes and so on on this web site (call them that and they’ll act like you called them a slur, and yet they call us oversensitive) and my shit should be configured so they don’t get front page privilege on tags for activism and minorities, bumping down people doing serious work. And goofy, but otherwise good creative work.
The drama this kind of writing creates generates clicks, I figure, and we get something boring, unoriginal, disjointed, and offensive promoted as though it has creative merit. I know if I respond I’m just feeding it but a lot of people take the bait, I guess. I’ve clicked on these things a few times and read them because I looked at the title and thought, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and that’s all it takes to bump it higher. It’s never deep original thought, it’s the kind of shit you get subjected to when you’re wedged between two cousins at the Golden Corral.
I tolerated the listicles because that’s just people gaming the algorithm, grinding out trash for maybe ten bucks an article. Yeah I’d rather read original writing but writers have to eat. But if people can do the same thing generating outage, writing shit that can actually hurt people (if you’re here somehow and I have to explain to you how words can hurt people, I am already exhausted thinking about it, you need to experience life more), we’re fucked here. This place will turn into kiwifarms.
This is how social media works, I know, but here all interaction seems to get read as positive. There’s no way to vote an article down besides actually reporting it for violating rules, and a lot of stuff doesn’t quite cross the line. And cracking down on this kind of bullshit would most likely lead to our shit getting purged for being too horny or whatever, too, because that’s the way social media companies seem to do things.
Is anything gonna be done about this? Nah I doubt it. But you’ve noticed this shit right? It’s fucked up right?
*harassment and inciting real violence don’t count as free speech, I shouldn’t have to say this but here I am