Wednesday, March 06, 2019

How Amazon's Algorithms Curated a Dystopian Bookstore | Wired

Tangentially, see Amazon's online data use has been 'less dangerous' than Facebook's, says tech investor Roger McNamee | CNBC
"No major platform is immune to problems with gameable algorithms. But Amazon in particular—with its massive audience and extraordinary revenue—is remarkable for how little it has changed despite numerous investigations of quackery and review manipulation over the years. It simply ignores the problem and waits for the next press cycle.

Amazon has recently taken incremental steps toward curbing health misinformation, but primarily only when under significant pressure. The company responded to a letter from US Representative Adam Schiff (D–California) by pulling a few anti-vaccine documentaries from Prime Streaming. That’s a good start, but it’s not enough. The real-world impact of health misinformation makes the stakes too high and too important to ignore. Amazon needs to recognize that its ranking and recommendation engines have far-reaching influence—and that a misinformation pandemic can induce a different kind of virality."
How Amazon's Algorithms Curated a Dystopian Bookstore | Wired

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