Really impressive article explaining the various social media algorithms by @email@example.com
Reading this, it's largely all about engagement. AKA Addiction.
Those mental buttons which measurably encourage you to stick around and post and click more are pressed, repeatedly.
But it's not just the feed manipulation, it's the whole instantaneous ego boost Pavlovian feedback thing. Mastodon has copied this.
I post this, you'll get a ping on your phone, prompting you to check it, tempting you to reply. Rinse and repeat.
We're still junkies.
The Pavlovian 'classical conditioning' is an unavoidable side-effect of an otherwise desirable feature though, no? I want to be able to easily see when people @ me, and I can turn off the #notifications on my phone if I don't want them to disrupt me.
In my mind the enemy is the notifications that don't correspond to any human interaction. "You haven't posted in a while, your friends might miss you!" etc.
I found this video surprisingly enlightening: https://youtu.be/NUMa0QkPzns
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!