Digital Polarization on Pinterest Is Scary Aggressive

The speed with which Pinterest radicalizes your feed with conspiracy-based disinfo is shocking. I speed up this video by 400% but the entire process takes less than 13 minutes I think. Here’s the final frame. I got here without taking a single explicit antivax action (e.g. I didn’t follow any antivax boards):

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Please watch the whole video. It may even shock the cynical.

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6 thoughts on “Digital Polarization on Pinterest Is Scary Aggressive

  1. Fascinating, Mike.
    Questions:
    1) Are all of those pins that you didn’t pick out yourself suggested by Pinterest algos?
    2) Why did Pinterest surface so many anti-vax pins, when you’d also pinned unrelated topics (food, drink, gardening, recipes)?
    3) If we consider the cosmos of Pinterest items related to vaccination, what proportion is anti-vax? (If that’s knowable)

  2. Finally, the answer to why my Pinterest front page is so full of **** that I have zero interest in. I cannot be alone in never looking at the front page and quickly trying to go elsewhere. I would ask, why on earth Pinterest aren’t aware that their own algorithm is so producing such bad results? I know, let’s ask!

  3. Pingback: #fakenews – symptom or disease? – Informative Flights

  4. I pin fanart, recipes, and journal inspiration every day. At the very least Pinterest gives you a button to get more pins like the one you’re currently viewing. Using that, I’ve found that I’m constantly steering Pinterest’s algorithm away from pins about nutritional pseudoscience and pro-gun activism. If I click on even one, my feed fills up with them all over again.

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