Can an algorithm discriminate? Is the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm ignoring blog posts that have a feminist leadership approach?

I’m one of those lucky people who often get my LinkedIn blog posts featured in LinkedIn’s different Pulse categories. If you want to create lots of engagement and reach further than your own network you need to get in there.

I know that they use both editors and an algorithm to manage the content and decide which posts will be featured in their Pulse channels.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/01r8aik8bm5csnq/Screenshot%202016-06-08%2010.03.41.png?dl=0

When another of my articles that had a feminist message was ignored and not featured I emailed LinkedIn’s customer service team. It must have been the third post in five weeks.

Anyone else had problems with this? Do you feel that stories about feminism get ditched?

** There was a period when I turned off my notification button on my LinkedIn profile and then none of my network got to know about my posts and the algorithm didn’t pick them up. Now that it is on again LinkedIn seems to pick up quite a few of my posts.

Here is my conversation with LinkedIn about the problem. LinkedIn is the only social media company that I’ve been in contact with that have a customer service support function that feels okay and even has a human touch in the way they reply. Gold star for that!


Subject: None of my posts about feminism get featured in Pulse

Your Question: Hello,

My posts often get featured in Pulse but every time I write about feminism or something that is about equality my posts get little attention.

Are your editors all sexist men?

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Sorry, it has happened many times now and it is very disturbing.

This is the latest post:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/behind-every-enlightened-man-exhausted-feminist-sofie-sandell?trk=prof-post

Thank you, Sofie.


Hi Sofie,

Thanks for contacting us.

Please know I have reviewed the link you have provided and would like to confirm that I’m able to view the article.

Kindly let me know why you feel the articles posted by you are not available on the site.

Looking forward to your response!

Sincerely,

Anastasia
Safety operation support specialist


Hello Anastasia,

As you can read in my question it’s not about if you can view my post or not, it is about the fact that none of my posts that touch on feminism are ever featured on Pulse and I would like to know why.

It seems to me that there is an unconscious bias affecting what your editors and the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm choose to feature.

This is the issue I’m raising.

Thanks, Sofie.


Hi Sofie,

Thanks for reaching out about that your posts about feminism are not being featured in Pulse and you feel that this is intentional either through editor bias or through our algorithm that is used to determine which posts are feature.

I’ve sent your feedback to our product team about how you feel about your posts not being featured. Please note that as outlined in the included link our Pulse articles that get featured are determined by an algorithm and some other variables to help match the right content in the article to the right member as we do try to allow for posts that go organically viral to be featured in Pulse: Long-Form Posts Featured in Pulse

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We are always evaluating the algorithm used and I have passed along this feedback to our product team so that they can review it for any unintentional bias in the formula.

Please don’t hesitate to send any suggestions for improvements in the future.

Warmest Regards,

Philip
Customer Support Specialist