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):


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

10 thoughts on “Digital Polarization on Pinterest Is Scary Aggressive

  1. Fascinating, Mike.
    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. 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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