Jeff Allen Profile picture
Mar 31 9 tweets 3 min read
Facebook has algorithm issues. What could help?

@Integrity_Inst is working on a "social internet aware" PageRank. We'll release it soon. We applied it to the accounts in the Widely Viewed Content lists.

It would have a dramatic impact on Facebook's public content ecosystem. 1/
PageRank is "the algorithm that built Google Search". The idea behind it is "the more links that point to a domain, the more trusted and authoritative it is".

Example: Celebrity fan pages all link to the celebrity's official domain. The official domain gets high PageRank. 2/
The patent on PageRank has expired. The internet is indeed that old.

We used it and made it "social internet" aware. Meaning: we treat social media accounts like domains in our calculation.
is treated the same as 3/
The AP domain has a lot of PageRank; it links to their Facebook Page, so their Page ends up with a high PageRank score in our calculation.

The AP is an authoritative and trustworthy source. The amount of engagement on social media might not indicate that, but PageRank does. 4/
What are the highest scoring domains and accounts from the Top 20 lists from Facebook's Widely Viewed Content Reports?

Yahoo, CDC, ABC News, and UNICEF.

A lot of the sources Facebook manually boosted at the start of the pandemic! 5/
What are the lowest scoring?

"That Ain't Right" (the Page they deleted for violations), a Page exploiting US veterans for drop shipping purposes, and an Instagram account that posts aggregated TikTok videos of people fighting.

Inspiring stuff. 6/
If Facebook used the PageRank of accounts in their Feed ranking scores, they wouldn't have to manually boost trusted health sources. They wouldn't have violating and borderline accounts showing up in the top lists. The platform would be more resilient to exploitation. 7/
How do other platforms incorporate this quality-focused ranking?

Google uses "Search Quality Guidelines". Anonymous and copied content is "lowest quality". Original reporting is "highest quality". And they use signals like PageRank to predict quality. 8/
It wouldn't solve all the problems in Facebook's public content ecosystem, but it would help. We'll be releasing our full Social PageRank dataset soon. But until then, you can see the results for the WCV:




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More from @jeff4llen

Mar 30
From our @Integrity_Inst dashboard, 70% of the top 20 posts + links on Facebook were unoriginal (content taken from elsewhere on the internet) and 25% were anonymous (impossible to find a person behind the accounts or domains).

Why does this matter? 1/
Rewarding original content producers is a vital role for platforms to play. Creating original content takes effort. And generally speaking, the more valuable the content is for communities, the more effort it takes.

This is true for news, videos, memes, all internet content. 2/
The attention publishers and content producers get from platforms is valuable. They can use it to mobilize a community to action, increase their voice within a community, or to make a living. Views have value. Ads make this concrete. It can cost $5-$20 for 1000 views on an ad. 3/
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