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My News Feed, revealed

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On Monday I'm heading down to Southern California for Code Media, an event where we'll hear from seve
 
February 9 · Issue #80 · View online
The Interface
On Monday I’m heading down to Southern California for Code Media, an event where we’ll hear from several characters who make regular appearances here. Facebook’s News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, will be on stage, as will be Campbell Brown, who runs news partnerships for the company. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki will be interviewed as well.
Most conversations about the algorithmically generated feeds these companies specialize in stall out at a high level. When Mark Zuckerberg said, earlier this year, that the News Feed would consist of 4 percent journalism, it was perhaps the most revealing thing ever said about its contents. Ever since he said it, I wondered: what’s in my own News Feed? And so I took some time this morning to categorize the first 100 posts in my desktop News Feed. 
(For what it’s worth: I’m friends with just over 1,400 people on Facebook, and before I checked this morning I hadn’t looked at the News Feed since the day before.)
The feed held two big surprises for me. The first was that the most popular item in my feed, by a considerable margin, was news articles. The 20 news posts included stories about Trump’s plans for a military parade, the domestic abuser kicked out of the White House, and Arizona’s bizarre limitation on the number of tampons it will give to female inmates. I’m friends with far more journalists than the average person, but I was still taken aback by how much news I saw.
The first 100 items in my feed included 11 text-only posts from friends; 14 personal photos; five personal videos; and two requests for recommendations. I saw 10 posts from publisher pages, but seven of them were shared directly from my friends. (I saw not a single post from The Verge, where I work.) 
The second surprise to me was how relatively few ads I saw: just six out of the first 100. (Among them: Apple: an online underwear company, and an ad inviting me to apply for a job on Facebook’s analytics team.) During casual browsing, I often feel oppressed by the number of ads I saw in my feed; I never expected it was only 6 percent of the total.
I plan to revisit this experiment regularly to see what patterns emerge. And I’d invite you to share the (anonymized) contents of your own feeds with me, as well. How many article links are you seeing? How much video? How much from pages? Reply to this email and I may include some responses in a future edition.
Have a nice weekend!

Democracy
Twitter Has an Astroturfing Tool and They Won't Tell Us Who's Using It
The Mainstreaming of Political Memes Online
How Social Media Gives Women a Voice
Google executives are floating a new plan to fight fake news on Facebook and Twitter
Elsewhere
Why Twitter Can’t Pull the Trigger on New Products
YouTube suspends Logan Paul’s ad revenue, blames ‘recent pattern of behavior’
A 13-Year-Old Believes She's One Of The Most Hated Teens On Instagram. Here's How She And Her Mom Are Dealing
Instagram Perfection Gives Way to Realness
Facebook is building out its original TV ambitions with an Elizabeth Olsen series
Facebook to begin counting viewable-only impressions for Pages’ organic reach next week
Deepfakes are disappearing from parts of the web, but they’re not going away
Snapchat Users Buy Half of All Movie Tickets in the U.S.
Snap is trying to lure Instagram advertisers by offering them free ads on Snapchat
Launches
Facebook is testing a downvote button, but only for comment moderation
Facebook’s plan to build community with hiring and $10M in grants
A fresh look for your Medium homepage
Takes
Kylie Jenner
Mm just saw the new Snapchat.. I don’t know how i feel about it! What do you guys think?
11:41 AM - 9 Feb 2018
Colby Ledbetter
I guess email me since that’s easier than Snapchat now
7:24 PM - 7 Feb 2018
And finally ...
China’s feminist movement braves a government crackdown on #MeToo
Talk to me
Questions? Comments? Weekend plans? casey@theverge.com 
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