Derek Muller is the curator for science video blog Vertiasium, which has about 118,000 Facebook fans. That’s a pretty good-sized audience, but, according to Muller, there’s a problem: he claims that only a tiny percentage of the page’s fan base is actually seeing the posts that the page publishes and that Facebook is burying the rest.
This isn’t a new allegation against Facebook, but Muller’s post has once again stirred up controversy around Facebook’s algorithm for determining what is and is not popular on the site. In an effort to become more news-oriented, Facebook has recently adjusted its metrics to hide content that isn’t drawing likes and comments. This results in many posts being hidden; critics of the new News Feed algorithm suggest the site did it to force page owners to pay to increase their reach. If they don’t pony up, the critics’ argument goes, Facebook will simply bury their content and guarantee it doesn’t reach the page’s fans.
“Clearly some filtering is required,” Muller said. “The problem is Facebook is using its filtering power in order to make money.”
Ironically, Muller’s post about Facebook’s practices has garnered a ton of comments and engagement on his site. Many of the comments were supportive of Muller, and seemingly backed up his claims.
“I liked this page months ago but this is the first time I have ever seen it in my news feed,” one commenter said.
Readers: do you see content regularly from the pages you like? Do you think Facebook’s filtering is fair?