Alex is a med-student turned neuroscientist turning into a developer. He is currently a Mozilla fellow working on building tools and communities to facilitate the sharing of research.
Increasingly, the applications we use in our day-to-day lives are driven by algorithms that are hard to understand and are optimised for the end-goals of the developers (e.g. advertising money, time-on-site) and not for the users (e.g. keeping in touch with family, finding a new job). Feed.me is an experiment to see what happens when we give users more control over the algorithms that control their feeds. Can we allow a grandparent to look at photos of their kids without being shown political news, or allow a trauma victim to filter for things that are specifically triggering for them, or allow an electrician who was recently made redundant to use their feed to find leads on new jobs rather than waste more time that they could be using to continue pursuing their online degree? Technically all these things are well within reach, but they don’t line up well with the goals of the organisations that provide our social media services. Feed.me hopes to leverage the power of the browser to put the user in control with easy to understand “plug and play” algorithms that will work on all their social media. Guided by some user-research completed during the residency the first concrete goal is to implement a browser-extension that will allow the re-ordering of posts viewed through the browser without directly interacting with the APIs of the social media services.