Deradicalising,
by giving radicals a voice.

Woscker’s algorithm is in many ways a reaction to the problems caused by social media. Most online platforms have algorithms which recommend news mostly based on user input: if you get likes, you get more visibility.

This is because they are designed to maximize user engagement and slowly to create a dopamine addiction where users are constantly checking their phone. The aim is to show users new content that they will click or like, and thus the algorithm will recommend content similar to things you have already clicked or liked.

While this does engage users, and keeps them coming back, it isn’t very good for us either neurologically, socially or politically. Not only have we wrecked our attention span with constant stimulation, but we have also created online environments, where we only interact with people who are almost exactly like us. It took a little less than a decade for this to have a visible effect on us politically. Today, many people from opposite sides of the political spectrum can’t even talk to each other.

Obviously, this problem needs to be solved, however most of the people solving it, are doing so in a way that only exacerbates it. Banning people from large platforms doesn’t stop them from thinking the things they think, or feeling the things they feel. It pushes them underground, and radicalises them even further. When people are banned, and treated as insurgents, it is only a matter of time before they become actual insurgents.

Woscker doesn’t silence radical voices, but nor do we allow them to go unchallenged. We let every side of the argument present their best case, and make sure that every perspective is heard. Thus, by encouraging people to hear alternative points of view, and to step out of their echo-chambers, we not only act as a news aggregator, but we also play an important role in de-radicalising people, and promoting understanding between different groups.


An open-source algorithm

Much of the distrust that people have towards social media platforms stems from the fact that the algorithms these companies employ are often very secretive. There is often a feeling that certain content is promoted, while other opinions are suppressed, often for nebulous reasons.

This leads to a general feeling of distrust, which pushes away creative and outspoken people, while also making the audience increasingly nihilistic and close-minded. In order to restore public trust, we need to have algorithms that are transparent in the way they operate, and which make it clear to content creators what determines their content's visibility.

For this reason, Woscker makes it an aim to eventually release our recommendation algorithm to the wide-public, so that people can verify it's impartiality for themselves.

Of course we can't do that yet, since we don't have the kind of scale that would protect us from copycats. However, we can explain to you how the algorithm works in broad strokes, and what determines the visibility of content.



Rating news
based on it's substance

Unlike other social media sites, Woscker does not give any importance to likes, clicks or views when deciding how prominently to feature a story. Instead, visibility is determined by four simple qualitative metrics :

- Broadness : is this article interesting to a large number of people?

- Importance : is the information in this article important?

- Quality : does this content have a high production quality? Is it well researched?

- Uniqueness : does this piece of content have something unusual and fresh about it?

Each section gives different weightings to the metrics, for example, in the “Breaking News” section, “broadness” and “importance” play the deciding role, whereas in the “Opinions” section, “uniqueness” and “quality” are more important.

The reason we use these metrics instead of views or popularity is because we want to give people quality content rather than popular content: since the latter can already be found on almost everywhere on the internet.

Furthermore, by ranking news based on objective metrics, we are able to keep the quality of content high and encourage the site’s publishers to create smart, fresh and well-researched content, rather than trying to win a popularity contest by pandering to the status-quo.


A platform for radicals,
which de-radicalises people.

Woscker’s algorithm is in many ways a reaction to the problems caused by social media. Most online platforms have algorithms which recommend news mostly based on user input: if you get likes, you get more visibility.

This is because they are designed to maximize user engagement and slowly to create a dopamine addiction where users are constantly checking their phone. The aim is to show users new content that they will click or like, and thus the algorithm will recommend content similar to things you have already clicked or liked.

While this does engage users, and keeps them coming back, it isn’t very good for us either neurologically, socially or politically. Not only have we wrecked our attention span with constant stimulation, but we have also created online environments, where we only interact with people who are almost exactly like us. It took a little less than a decade for this to have a visible effect on us politically. Today, many people from opposite sides of the political spectrum can’t even talk to each other.

Obviously, this problem needs to be solved, however most of the people solving it, are doing so in a way that only exacerbates it. Banning people from large platforms doesn’t stop them from thinking the things they think, or feeling the things they feel. It pushes them underground, and radicalises them even further. When people are banned, and treated as insurgents, it is only a matter of time before they become actual insurgents.

Woscker doesn’t silence radical voices, but nor do we allow them to go unchallenged. We let every side of the argument present their best case, and make sure that every perspective is heard. Thus, by encouraging people to hear alternative points of view, and to step out of their echo-chambers, we not only act as a news aggregator, but we also play an important role in de-radicalising people, and promoting understanding between different groups.


An open-source algorithm

Much of the distrust that people have towards social media platforms stems from the fact that the algorithms these companies employ are often very secretive. There is often a feeling that certain content is promoted, while other opinions are suppressed, often for nebulous reasons.

This leads to a general feeling of distrust, which pushes away creative and outspoken people, while also making the audience increasingly nihilistic and close-minded. In order to restore public trust, we need to have algorithms that are transparent in the way they operate, and which make it clear to content creators what determines their content's visibility.

For this reason, Woscker makes it an aim to eventually release our recommendation algorithm to the wide-public, so that people can verify it's impartiality for themselves.

Of course we can't do that yet, since we don't have the kind of scale that would protect us from copycats. However, we can explain to you how the algorithm works in broad strokes, and what determines the visibility of content.



Rating news
based on it's substance

Unlike other social media sites, Woscker does not give any importance to likes, clicks or views when deciding how prominently to feature a story. Instead, visibility is determined by four simple qualitative metrics :

- Broadness : is this article interesting to a large number of people?

- Importance : is the information in this article important?

- Quality : does this content have a high production quality? Is it well researched?

- Uniqueness : does this piece of content have something unusual and fresh about it?

Each section gives different weightings to the metrics, for example, in the “Breaking News” section, “broadness” and “importance” play the deciding role, whereas in the “Opinions” section, “uniqueness” and “quality” are more important.

The reason we use these metrics instead of views or popularity is because we want to give people quality content rather than popular content: since the latter can already be found on almost everywhere on the internet.

Furthermore, by ranking news based on objective metrics, we are able to keep the quality of content high and encourage the site’s publishers to create smart, fresh and well-researched content, rather than trying to win a popularity contest by pandering to the status-quo.