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Facebook last year overhauled its News Feed to encourage 'meaningful interactions,' but the unexpected change to its algorithms may have led to some unintended consequences.
Users of the social media site are angrier and more divided than ever before, while the most commonly shared content is focused around hot button issues, including abortion, religion and guns.
Findings - Study - Media - Firm - NewsWhip
The findings were detailed in a new study from social media engagement tracking firm NewsWhip.
'It’s been just over a year since Facebook announced their algorithm change, shaking up the world of social publishing,' the researchers noted.
'We - Facebook - Start - Year - Years
'We looked into how content is being shared and interacted with on Facebook since the start of the year, and compared it with previous years.'
Last January, Facebook announced it was making some major adjustments to the News Feed algorithm and would begin prioritizing posts from family and friends over content from media organizations and businesses.
Time - CEO - Mark - Zuckerberg - Change
At the time, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he hoped the change would lead to users seeing 'personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.'
'The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,' Zuckerberg said at the time.
'We - Correlates - Term - Measures - Happiness
'We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health.'
Instead, the tweak has most often led to users sharing stories predicated on fear, divisive political issues and outrage.
NewsWhip - List - Web - Content - Facebook
NewsWhip compiled a list of the 'most shared web content' on Facebook so far this year and the results reflect how the site has become a largely toxic environment.
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