Facebook has faced a series of scrutiny in the past about failing to reveal to the users how its algorithm works and failing to give its users complete control of their data in its app and on the website. The social network is launching a new feature that will explain why a user is seeing a post.
In a blog post, the social media giant said a new “Why am I seeing this post?” button will display in the users’ timeline, a way to reveal the activities that influenced the algorithm at the time. This is the first time that Facebook will allow users to understand the influencing factors. Overtime, people have guessed, and digital marketers have gone ahead to unravel Facebooks algorithms to enable them positions their businesses to suit whatever algorithm operated at the time.
Google allows users to block ads from displaying on the screen with a pop-up notification. With the “close add” button, a user can decide to disallow the app from popping up on that site.
In 2014, Facebook launched the “Why am I seeing this ad?” button for advertisements on its platform. It said it would add more information to let users know if the information provided matched those on the advertisers’ database. Information such as sex, age and location are some information that advertisers use for target marketing. It said feedbacks from users influenced its decision to improve the algorithms.
“People told us that transparency into News Feed algorithms wasn’t enough without corresponding controls. People wanted to be able to take action, so we’ve made it easy to manage what you see in News Feed right from this feature.”
The tech company said in a blog post that they are working to give users control of their data.
“Both of these updates are part of our ongoing investment in giving people more context and control across Facebook. We will continue to listen to your feedback and evolve these features over time.”
After a series of backlash for data breach, privacy scandals and allegations that the platform was used to influence election results, the tech giant is beginning to thread carefully.
Facebook says the new feature is available for users in the UK today and will roll out fully by May 2.