In September, a small group of friends convinced me to join them in my first few rounds of Among Us. Developer Innersloth’s game had been virtually inescapable at that point, clogging up every newsfeed on all of my social media apps with fan art, memes, and jokes about the cute little space beans.
Another Facebook exec, Ryan Freitas, director of News Feed product design, wrote, “Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind.” One engineer, Lauren Tan, tweeted, “Facebook’s inaction in taking down Trump’s post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here.”.
You can read her news story about the upcoming Uber IPO right here on WIRED .Also on this week’s pod, Mike, Lauren, and Arielle discuss the first photo of a black hole, the latest privacy concerns around Alexa devices, and some upcoming changes to Facebook’s News Feed.
By far the biggest change to come from these announcements is the introduction of a new metric called Click-Gap, which Facebook's News Feed algorithms will use to determine where to rank a given post.
"Nothing you do is being broadcast; rather, it is being shared with people who care about what you do—your friends." Days later, Zuckerberg backtracked in an open letter, saying, "We really messed this one up," and announcing new controls users would have over what stories populated their News Feeds.
MoveOn Thinks SoEthan Miller/Getty ImagesIf you are one of the 20 million potential voters that MoveOn, a progressive advocacy group, believes could help swing the midterm elections in Democrats' favor, then chances are, over the next few days, you will see a MoveOn–sponsored ad in your Facebook news feed.It'll be a video of a real voter—not an actor or a politician—explaining why he or she is voting for a given candidate.
Everyone you know is on the platform, and you can’t have social standing without being a user, as true for WhatsApp (outside the US) as it is for Facebook (inside the US).Smartphones as Extensions of Our BrainsThat’s made possible by another development for which WhatsApp’s timing was impeccable: the wiring of every human brain to a smartphone, and the endless reinforcement training—Pavlov’s dogs come to mind—that’s turned most of us into cognitive cyborgs, making the phone an extension of our brains.So even though WhatsApp is free of News Feed and ads, it contains the key functionality that reverts our brains to the heavily social and fragmented medium that predates the textual age of editors and encyclopedias.