Unmasking The Role of Algorithms in Social Media Platforms

The algorithms used by social media platforms have always been controversial. However, no matter how we see them as a positive or negative aspect of social media, their existence and starring role in social media forums are undeniable.

Before the utilization of algorithms by social media networks, our feeds displayed posts according to what the people we followed had published recently. Now, the algorithmic systems employed in social media sort posts in a user’s feed according to relevancy instead of chronologically. Yes, machine learning and data science are components of algorithms, but in the end, social media platforms use algorithms to decide what to show us, depending on our activity.

Photo by Antonio Batiniu0107 on Pexels.com

The Good

They are okay if an algorithm’s function is to provide relevant information to the user. Social networks prioritize the content we see first in the feed, based on the likelihood we’ll see it in the feed, and they direct us to the most engaging post and dispose of the inferior material. For example, Facebook’s algorithm has been updated and improved many times. One of the latest updates was to assess the credibility of the latest news—this update aimed at reducing the spread of misinformation by promoting reliable and quality news sources. Facebook emphasizes the value of accuracy and genuineness more than anything else. Also, compared to the initial algorithm, which merely focused on posts with the most likes, the modern algorithm is much more advanced. They attempt to evaluate significance by comprehending the character of the material and our conduct.

The Bad

Social media marketers could talk for long hours about the dark side of social media algorithms. It is generally believed that social media algorithms were established to induce companies to spend extra on social media ads. The consensus is that if companies can’t get to their demographic without ads, they will pay for them, increasing income for social media platforms. Also, to boost revenue, social media firms have devised advanced systems which sift through data and place users in virtual echo chambers to increase user involvement and activity. Unfortunately, these practices have affirmed or even radicalized the users’ ideologies. The algorithms propelling social media networks’ business model emphasize contentious and disagreeable opinions that generate reactions, leading users to ever more radical content.

The Challenges

There needs to be better-understood criteria on how algorithms work and select what we see in our feeds. Therefore, social media marketers face the challenge of staying current with the adaptations of algorithms and adjusting their strategies and content accordingly. Ultimately, if we want to avoid feeling the dark side of algorithms, research must be done by social media marketers to understand the algorithms of social media sites. Listening and experimenting with what algorithms are communicating can be long-winded but vital. Therefore, businesses should primarily concentrate on producing great material that generates authentic connections. For example, suppose algorithms built into social media platforms consider engagement (for example, ‘likes,’ comments, and shares) to be an accumulative effect. In that case, questions in posts can be a rallying point, allowing us to encourage our audience to take action and strengthen our ties with them simultaneously. Another way to beat social algorithms is by tagging or referencing other accounts in our posts. Hashtags connect our posts to a particular category, making them easier to find and thus increasing the spread of our posts. The ongoing modifications to social media algorithms can be difficult for companies. Still, a well-crafted social media marketing strategy will help you remain up-to-date with these modifications and ensure you’re always one step ahead.

Are social media platforms holding our content down due to algorithms? Are algorithms helpful or the bad guys when we are using different social media platforms? Is achieving harmony between what an algorithm calls for and manufacturing exciting content for our followers critical? I would appreciate your comments about this topic or any other ideas that could help us to take advantage of social media algorithms.

Twitter: Have you done your homework to beat social media #Algorithms? Explore some of the options by reading my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xKd. It is time to embrace social media #algorithms and make them work for us. #NeuralNetworks #datastructures

Facebook: Would you agree that we should make posts that algorithms find appealing instead of arguing with algorithms? Feel free to read my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xKd and continue the conversation about understanding social media algorithms and their implications for our social media content.

To Restrict, or Not to Restrict, That Is the Question

Any developed country’s private business must comply with rules and regulations prescribed by authorities and governments. But now, social media platforms like Twitter are opening a new chapter on how social media platforms could restrict or limit users’ content. We all know that the range of social media platforms gives an almost infinite capacity for connecting with smaller, more specific audiences. This explains why being objective and moderating users’ content on social platforms has become complicated and controversial at the same time.

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Lately, Twitter has received much scrutiny from its users, public opinion, government, and politicians for putting a hold on the diffusion of a narrative concerning Hunter Biden in the New York Post ahead of the US presidential election in October 2020. As a result, the executives of Twitter showed up at a US House of Representatives committee inquiry, and they ultimately expressed remorse for dealing with the matter. In this and many other cases, should Twitter decide what is fake news and what needs to be said or not about a specific topic with important implications for the public? Should Twitter discuss with federal and local governments and regulators what to allow to be shared by the platform users?

If there is something straightforward, what companies and regulators do now will determine what kind of public dialogue will exist. For me, social media platforms must now decide: will they accept all clients with no limitations, risk hefty regulatory measures, or pre-emptively reduce extreme behaviour with more stringent self-censorship? Maybe social media platforms should continue investing in language technologies that would help flag the use of hate speech in local languages or the spread of fake news in order to monitor misinformation and conflicts around the globe.

And how about the governments? In conjunction with global social media platforms, governments should respond to the detrimental use of social media and systematic disinformation campaigns, adopting a code of conduct and strengthening surveillance and supervision, and working with nongovernmental organizations, civil society and the media. We would also like to see substantial reforms in different areas of technology regulation, such as privacy, market competition and algorithmic clarity.

As for us, civil societies and researchers, we need to increase our resistance to the spread of misinformation, but we should also demand data on any sensitive information social media companies collect about us, how they use it and who uses it.

Is it time for social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to create guidelines to deal with misinformation and fake news? Would you agree that something needs to be done by our governments to avoid the indiscriminate spread of misinformation? Please leave your comments about the need or no need for content restriction in social media forums.

Twitter: Is it time to restrict the content and misinformation on social media platforms? Is it appropriate to allow Twitter and Facebook to determine what their users share or disseminate? Feel free to follow the link to my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xF8 and leave your comments.

Facebook: With or without restriction, social media users will always find a way to share their thoughts. So what role do Facebook and Twitter play in restricting the spread of false information or fake news? Please click on the following link to my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xF8 and continue the conversation about this controversial topic.

Social Media and Human Rights

It is fascinating how the long list of different social media platforms continues to improve in one way or another the exercise of the human rights promulgated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Even when misinformation has become an obstacle and sometimes a dangerous trigger of conflicts, it is still promising how the access to social media can make a difference in our fundamental and universally protected human rights.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

For example, the use of Facebook, additionally to keeping us in communication with friends and family, has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs and established companies to advertise their products and services, and for individuals, to collaborate and join different groups. Twitter on the other hand, continue allowing its users to share their thoughts and discuss in an open and equal environment different topics such as political opinion, social justice, right to free speech, etc. Instagram, as a photo sharing platform, has also created the perfect online environment for promoting and portraying through pictures the value of family as it is mentioned in article 16 of the UDHR, and/or the fundamental right to present ourselves without distinction of any kind.

Blogging has also become since its creation the perfect online venue to exercise the right to freedom of thought as it is mentioned in the 18 of the UDHR. To be able to express your own opinion and/or exchange ideas also constitute an achievement of the social media platforms as an instrument to protect the human rights. As for LinkedIn, we cannot deny its influence as a recruitment tool that to a greater or lesser degree has helped for a number of years to exercise the fundamental right to find a job as mentioned in the article 23 of the UDHR.

The idea that the most commonly used world-wide-based social media platforms have created the online environment for groups of people and/or entire countries to continue the defense of human rights, also need to be attached to the fact that the same social media tools have created fundamental risks for those that rely on their use to continue trying to exercise their human rights in countries where authoritarian and despotic regimes control their access. Unfortunately, in countries like China, Iran, Turkmenistan and North Korea, where Facebook and Twitter are banned, the risk to be imprisoned, tortured or killed remains a treat for those individuals that have used or even consider to use any of the above-mentioned social media platforms. There are also risks associated with the use of social media that could somehow compromise the privacy of their users. Even with the existence of well-structured set of rules and codes of conduct implemented by the social media platforms, any user can be target of attacks to its honor and reputation. This is why it is so important that, even when social media platforms promote freedom of speech, caution is always exercised when sharing thoughts, pictures, and/or recorded and/or live video with others.

Photo by Paddy O Sullivan on Pexels.com

At the end, we should realize that as most of the social media platforms continue contributing to keep the human rights alive, we should also realize that the social media platforms can be used to oppress any kind of opposition to authoritarian regimes, disturb elections, and contribute to crimes against humanity. It could be difficult in so many levels to keep the social media environment free of conflicts and/or controversy, but is our responsibility as society to be vigilant that every single human right proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights continues to be exercised and protected in our most commonly used social media platforms.

Do you feel your human rights are exercised when using Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? What worries you the most when authoritarian governments use social media to prosecute its detractors? All your comments are welcome, and I hope you have the opportunity to reflect on the importance to exercise your human rights through the use of social media platforms.


Regardless of the social media platform you commonly use, do you exercise your #HumanRights when posting in Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.? Feel free to read my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xyi and join this fundamental conversation. #StandUp4HumanRights #NoToHate


We should all exercise and protect our fundamental human rights when visiting and/or posting in social media platforms. Feel free to read my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xyi and keep the discussion rolling about the relationship between social media and our human rights.

Social media marketing for Non-for-profit organizations: Getting Ready to Jump.

Non-for-profit organizations or NPOs are an integral part of any developed country, and it could be unfair to deny the importance that NPOs have in the Canadian society. Knowing that NPOs have also a long list of characteristics similar to any other for-profit enterprise, it becomes easy to assume that they need to put their act together and jump into the social media jungle as any other entity or individual, if they have not done so yet. This does not mean they should be ready to jump off the cliff and expect that a sort of miraculous wind will help them to attract more attention to their cause, bring more clients, and/or make an impact in the social media environment. Jumping of the cliff means to create a strategy that comply with their funder(s) interest and regulations, and the services and/or goods they offer to current and potential clients.

Following the Big Boss Rules and Learning Together

NPOs in Canada are founded by either the local/provincial governments; and/or the federal government, and/or also by the private sector and individuals. If it is clear that social media marketing constitutes an imperative need for any organization in order to be present and relevant in its sector, it is also clear that both the founder(s), the management team and all the employees of the organization should understand the importance of adopting a well-oiled social media strategy. It cannot be denied that unfortunately, due to every day more common staff and financial limitations like any other sector, many NPOs cannot keep up with their social media marketing pace. That is why it becomes important and relevant for NPOs to make the founder(s) and the management team understand the need to create a clear and easy-to-follow formal social media policy for employees, and to allocate financial recourses for this vital part of any business. Allocating financial resources and time to train the staff or by helping employees to develop and create social media knowledge, could help to achieve the established social media marketing goals. Hiring a dedicated individual or third party to create and post content could be also a great idea to showcase any NPO and how it serves the community.

Forget About Looking in just One Direction and Doing it by Yourself

Any social media channel such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Instagram cannot be a standalone tool in the social media marketing strategy for any organization in the NPO sector. Diversifying and mixing them up could make a difference when financial and human resources are limited. Perhaps, if funding is available, NPOs should definitely take advantage of Google Adds. The amount of leads that an NPO could get by implementing and putting in good use the above-mentioned platform, could become a life changing decision for NPOs and the existence of the programs and/or services they offered. Otherwise, Google Ad Grants could be a viable option. Examples of the success stories such as Canada Learning Code speaks volumes about the possibility to receive online advertising at no cost for NPOs.

Being a non-for-profit staff employee myself and by just starting to see the amount of leads we are getting, I can now confirm with certainty that the existence and continuous presence of any NPO in the social media spectrum is determined by its wiliness to use a well-structured and tailored social media strategy as a whole. Recognizing the social media reality and its challenges by NPOs organizations and their founders, could only add more value, and definitely could guarantee their services can continue being offered to those in need of support in the Canadian society. A team-work approach to any social marketing strategy in the NPO sector can definitely achieve the ultimate goal for this industry: benefit the community and make the world a better place to live.

Would you like your favorite NPO to have a more active presence in different social media platforms? How NPOs could benefit from Google Ad Grants? Please feel free to join the conversation by posting your comments about how important it is for NPOs to create and implement a meaningful social media strategy.


Have you heard about social media marketing for #nonprofits? If you work for an #nonprofit and have not jumped into the social media marketing world, you need to get started now by reading my blog: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xoz #NonProfitOrganization #socialmedia


Are you part of an Non-for-profit organization? To understand how the social media marketing can impact the future of your organization and to learn what is available out there to get involved, you can visit my blog https://wp.me/p3QRy0-xoz


Ferry, Annelise. “How to Revamp Your Nonprofit Social Media Strategy: Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices.” Galaxy Digital, Galaxy Digital, 12 Jan. 2017, https://www.galaxydigital.com/blog/nonprofit-social-media-strategy.

“Google for Nonprofits.” Reach More Donors Online with Google Ad Grants, Google, https://www.google.com/nonprofits/offerings/google-ad-grants/.

Peel Halton Workforce Development Group. PHWDG SOCIAL MARKETING PLAYBOOK. Peel Halton Workforce Development Group.