These kinds of algorithms optimize for engagement, and the quickest path to engagement is via the drugs outrage and anger — which require, and generate, bigger and bigger hits.
This is what Twitter and Facebook are about — but it’s not right for NetNewsWire. The app puts you in control. You choose the sites and blogs you want to read, and the app reliably shows you their articles sorted by time. That’s it.
The world would be a much better place if all of these social networks stuck to their reverse-chronological roots. Perhaps that wouldn’t have lead to the most engagement, and I say that with the most exaggerated air quotes I can muster. But is it really worth all the anger, divisiveness, and distrust in the platforms that it has created?
(Via Michael Tsai.)