You may have noticed a little rocket icon pop up on your mobile version of Facebook. Tap it and it will take you to alternative news feed. No, not “alternative facts,” but an algorithmic design feed of content similar to what you interact with on your regular feed, but from sources you don’t follow. It serves as a discovery engine for new sources.
Creepy or cool?
We all know that Facebook pays attention to what we engage with and serves up more of it. Interact with a friend that you haven’t engaged with in a while and all of a sudden, they start popping up more often. Privacy rights aside, it’s the way Facebook keeps you on its site and coming back for more.
The new feed which gathers up similar content just highlights how closely they follow you. It’s just another example of how much privacy we give up when we interact on-line. Google’s Gmail monitors the content of your email and serves up ads. ISPs now have the ability to sell the data of the websites you’ve visited. Re-targeting monitors which ads you’ve clicked on and keeps serving up the same ads over and over again. Your smart TV can report what you’ve watched and, in some cases, listen in on your conversations without your knowledge.
It’s the price you pay for free services and content. I just wonder when people are going to say enough is enough and pull the plug.