The Quest for Algorithmic diversity

April 2017 - Claudio Agosti, Andrea Raimondi

do we need algorithms?

Guanciale, eggs, bucatini, black pepper, pecorino

Not enough to get a Carbonara!

They do much more than that.

They shape our individual and social identity, by integrating with our capacity as knowers. Algorithms influence the way we gain knowledge from others (testimonial ability) and the way we include, an make sense of, others in our social world (hermeneutical ability).

What can possibly go wrong??

[ and it comes from a facebook whistle-blower! ]

(Tufekci 2014)

some voices are not heard, some worldviews are not considered.

And you?

What do you think is the price?

Why is this a problem?

By sheltering information, algorithms contributes to reinforce our confirmation biases

The more we are biased toward others, the more likely we are to treat others as stereotypes

This paved the road for prejudice

Prejudice cause us to give a deflated level of credibility to others’ testimony and words.

We lose our ability to integrate different worldviews.


let's quit facebook right now!

Not a solution.

rather, this is just giving up finding a solution

the hard problem

  • Quit facebook → nope
  • Pop the information bubble → nope
  • More inclusive algorithms? → nope

We need more than that!

We need to understand the world through the eyes of others

not Algorithm Independency,

Algorithm Diversity

How can we achieve that?


(kill with a borrowed sword)

“If you are limited in your own strength, then borrow the strength of the enemy.”

Thirty-six Stratagems, I.III

Wow, looks cool on paper but...we don’t even know how facebook algorithms works in the first place!

Proudly in ß!


Michele Invernizzi -- Density Design

Nation-wide experimental data format

  • id: "b68c047aed64309fcbdd60957c45483bbd8ced3f",
  • userPseudo: "pizza-gelato"
  • publicationUTime: "2017-03-10T20:40:15.000Z",
  • impressionTime: "1"
  • impressionOrder: "2017-03-11T20:33:29.000Z",
  • postId: "10213076189686398",
  • permaLink: "",
  • timelineId: "9b56308ab7c206b69b981220a6a685c1c859c9f4",


  • Two users: Same friends, different likes
  • Compare your group of friend
  • How fast you can change your feed?
  • How many information get privileged and how many filtered?
  • What's the average life of a post?
  • Among friends, who's the most influential at parity of content?


This system collects what the user, and then we can:

  • providing evidences usable by researchers usable to understand Facebook's personalization algorithm
  • contributing to an open data feed usable to see trends
  • and (will) give backs a less immersive experience of the supporter, showing your informative diet
  • "the eyes of others" development

the end! not tired?

We've to build a community and raise funds!