How Recommendation Algorithms Run the World

This March, a book that advances an outlandish conspiracy theory—a theory whose name I will not mention—soared in Amazon's sales rankings. The book's rise was helped greatly when the ecommerce giant put the book on its carousel of recommended titles, which is shown to shoppers who aren't searching for that particular book. That fueled more curiosity and sales. Which led to more recommendations. The particular conspiracy theory outlined in this book holds that President Donald Trump pretended to collude with Russia precisely to ensure that he would be investigated, which would give him a chance to secretly collaborate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller to investigate and finally arrest former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who belongs to a global satanic cult …