Explaining the News Feed algorithm: An analysis of the "News Feed FYI" blog

Kelley Cotter, Janghee Cho, Emilee Rader

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Facebook uses algorithmic curation-automated selection and ranking of content- to present a personalized News Feed to each user for consumption. However, the News Feed user interface provides little information to help users understand how the ranking algorithm works. We analyzed the company's "News Feed FYI" blog series to better understand the degree to which Facebook employs "how" and "why" explanations of its News Feed algorithm. These types of explanations have been used in other recommendation and intelligent systems as a means of promoting user understanding and acceptance. Our findings show that the "News Feed FYI" blog posts focus more on explanations that justify why the algorithm works the way it does, and less on explanations that describe how the system works. These findings suggest that the "News Feed FYI" series would be more helpful for increasing users' confidence in the system, but not improving their trust in the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 Extended Abstracts - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1553-1560
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346566
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 6 2017May 11 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
VolumePart F127655

Other

Other2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver
Period5/6/175/11/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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