adjusting algorithms


Senior Member
What does "adjusting algorithms" mean here? And which meaning of "adjusting" is author using here?

“Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google have already begun taking steps—adjusting algorithms, deactivating bot networks, and partnering with fact-checkers—but they must do more.”

Excerpt From: Hillary Rodham Clinton. “What Happened.”
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    You should start with the dictionary: WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English: algorithm: a set of rules to follow in a fixed order for solving a problem:an algorithm to find the greatest common divisor of a group of numbers.

    Adjusting algorithms means adjusting or fine-tuning the set of rules that is followed.
    In this case, the input for the algorithm is how a particular account (its owner) is behaving. The number of its contacts. The type of contacts. The frequency pattern of postings. One wants an automatic method of detecting fake IDs used to massively disseminate false information. It's not a simple math problem, but looking at weird behavior patterns, and making an educated guess (from the algorithm output = 'probable fake') that the account is held and used by a robot, taking commands from elsewhere. And if you delete a real person's account, he'll be quite upset..
    On algorithms and their need for adjusting.

    Although Facebook and Twitter have outlined the types of threats — murder, sexual assault and breaking bones — that violate their rules, the burden is usually on those being threatened to flag the comments. Moderators are overwhelmed, and punishments are often as mild as a “time out.” Artificial intelligence isn’t a magical fix, either: Last fall, a Japanese Twitter user’s account was frozen after what was probably an algorithm flagged him for tweeting a death threat at a mosquito.

    Today's NY Times.
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