SHE x ITE College Central, Does Your Algorithm Define You, 5 April 2023
Did you know? ^6 in 10 Singapore youths have received recommendations for sensitive content on social media, including unhealthy eating/exercise behaviour and body checking. Out of those, 32% felt extremely upset. Whilst 66% of the affected users took actions such as blocking the content, 29% did not take any action at all and 5% could not recall what they did.
Have you ever wondered why certain posts show up in your online media feeds? The way that algorithms work is incredibly complex and relies on a multitude of factors - from your location, to the type of device you use, to the content you frequently ‘like’ or access.
Algorithms can filter and select what we see online. But how does what we see, also define us? SHE held a panel with 48 students at ITE College Central, to discuss this pertinent question.
At an interactive session titled "Does Your Algothrim Define You?", Scott Griffiths, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne and Rebecca Eu, Founder, Mei’s Own, and moderator Nadia A. Samdin, our Board Member and Member of the Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC discussed what we see and experience online can significantly skew our perception of ourselves and shape the decisions we make.
The speakers also shared how important it is for online media users to be aware of how algorithms work, and to understand that what they see online may be tailored to them and not what others see. They also shared useful tips such as ensuring we check our own biases or echo chambers by actively seeking out posts that share different ideologies or positions from our own.
^SHE and Global Shapers Singapore Hub Safeguarding Online Spaces Study, 2023