Algorithmic glass ceiling in social networks: the effects of social recommendations on network diversity

the morning paper

Algorithmic glass ceiling in social networks: the effects of social recommendations on network diversity Stoica et al., WWW’18

(If you don’t have ACM Digital Library access, the paper can be accessed either by following the link above directly from The Morning Paper blog site, or from the WWW 2018 proceedings page).

Social networks were meant to connect us and bring us together. This paper shows that while they might be quite successful at doing this in the small, on a macro scale they’re actually doing the opposite. Not only do they reinforce and sustain disparities among groups, but they actually reinforce the rate at which disparity grows. I.e., they’re driving us apart. This happens due to the rich-get-richer phenomenon resulting from friend/follow recommendation algorithms.

… we find that prominent social recommendation algorithms can exacerbate the under-representation of certain demographic groups at the top of the social hierarchy… Our…

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