web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

How to Passover Clean Your News Feed

Preparing for Passover, we clean our house even from particles of chametz (leaven). How then should you clean your news feed?
Passover Cleaning

Passover Cleaning

What is a feed?

Whether you find yourself looking at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or one of your favorite sites, odds are you spend most of your time scrolling through a feed. While the term is more ubiquitous when browsing via a mobile device, even the desktop versions of most news and social media based sites make it easily to scroll through as you search for the newest, latest item of interest.

In order to monetize the feed, companies like Facebook and Twitter have started rolling in paid advertisements into this space. But instead of railing against Facebook Ads or Twitter’s Sponsored Tweets, we’d like to use this opportunity to ask a fundamental question: What makes a post valuable?

As we will explain, there is no necessary difference whether a post is sponsored or not. What matters most is whether it imparts authentic value.

Why do feeds need to be filtered?

There is only a limited time in the day to read. As TechCrunch’s article “Why Is Facebook Page Reach Decreasing? More Competition And Limited Attention” explains in detail, on Facebook alone the number of eligible posts could easily balloon to 15,000! Yet since there are a finite number of hours in the day, most people only read a few dozen to a few hundred posts.

But instead of relying on users to tidy their own “house” of incoming content, through the use of a complex algorithm and emerging Artificial Intelligence, Facebook has decided that in order to keep you interested in their service, it was up to them to feed you the information that they think you are most interested in.

But as human nature is unpredictable, even though you may not have realized that a blueberry pie recipe from a high school classmate would interest you, given the chance to read their post, you may decide to make it for your next affair. But alas, since you typically only click on apple cake recipes, Facebook has decided not to show you the yummy delicious blueberry pie one.

This of course is a simplification. But as explained in our article about Predictive Journalism, computer-based predictive analysis takes W, X, Y into account in order to predict Z. But since most people that clicked on W, X, Y weren’t interested in blueberry pies, the program has decided not to show you the recipe.

Doesn’t seem fair does it?

What follows is a suggestion that all media and advertising companies would do well to implement. Namely:

Help educate the public on how to filter their own content, instead of training the computers to do it for us.

What’s New about the News?

It used to be that news headlines were seen as new. But we are embarking on the era of revelatory op-eds, or as Ezra Klein calls in, “explanatory journalism.” To quote again from his Vox Media announcement (more here):

“New information is not always — and perhaps not even usually — the most important information for understanding a topic.

So what is new about the news? As we discussed in our article on Disruptive Journalism, thoughts appear disruptive, attention getting, when they descend from a higher world to a lower one.

Every headline, every new story is an opportunity to shine new light, new ideas. Klein has intuited this is well, but what does his Twitter byline “understand the news” mean?

Understanding is the English translation for the sefirah of binah. Each and every headline is an opportunity to meditate (from the same root in Hebrew), and to understand more about the depth of the idea behind the current headline.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon has spent most of his past 13 professional years in the world of Jewish publishing. He was the Marketing Manager at Kehot Publication Society (publishing arm of Chabad) for the better part of six years. He is founder of the website Community of Readers.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How to Passover Clean Your News Feed”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

{Originally posted on author’s site, FirstOne Through} The town of Sayreville, New Jersey is in mourning. The superintendent of the town shut the high school’s football program for the rest of the year due to reports of sexual assaults made by upper classmen of the football team against the junior classmen. According to initial reports, […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

My difficulties persisted until I met a beggar outside a restaurant after Tisha B’Av 12 years ago.

Steven Joel Sotloff as a hostage of ISIS, before his beheading.

The problem of course is that their morality is immoral, the most immoral.

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

This week we witnessed the true unity of the Jewish people rallying around, and praying for, these three boys.

We must learn how to portray reality correctly and in a positive way.

The moon-inspired public is searching for something like the renewal and redemption of the Jewish people.

In contrast to the hate-filled stones thrown by Arabs, Jews threw non-physical ‘stones’ of love.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/how-to-passover-clean-your-news-feed/2014/04/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: