Second, the algorithm is designed to give users more control over what they want to see. You can filter articles by type (“tutorials,” “opinions,” or “news”) or adjust the influence of certain factors. Gem still recommends news articles algorithmically—including a daily “gem,” the article you're most likely to enjoy. But it tries to avoid some of the pitfalls of other algorithms, which can be “prone to creating echo chambers where only your world view is repeated, and work in opaque ways, mostly out of your hands.”
Arielle Pardes covers personal technology, social media, and culture for WIRED.The app arrives at a time when tech companies are beginning to reel back the power of their recommendation algorithms. YouTube, awash in controversy for recommending extremist videos and child pornography, recently retooled its recommendation system. It now lets users block certain channels from appearing in their recommended queue and offers more information about why a specific video has been recommended. This year, Facebook changed the way its News Feed ranks stories , in an attempt to mitigate the spread of misinformation.Gem isn’t the first app to offer an alternative. NewsGuard, which launched late last year, makes a browser extension that rates news articles by credibility . And entrepreneur Brian Whitman, formerly a Spotify engineer, is building an app that will recommend a few things to read or listen to each day. Eventually, these ideas may be swallowed up by the bigger tech companies looking to rehabilitate their own recommendation algorithms. And we may all be better for it.
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It offers unusual insight into how social media news consumption varies by platform according to age, political affiliation, gender, education level, and race.Only a third of people who use Instagram told Pew they get news from the site, but two-thirds of that group are nonwhite—the highest proportion of nonwhite news consumers of any social media site.