Why hacking social media algorithms is a losing strategy

We human beings love shortcuts. From the time our distant ancestors began to walk upright, hacking was our way of life. If a Neanderthal hunter could find a quicker path to the hunting grounds, he might out-compete his neighbor for the annual mastodon haul.

Thousands of years of evolution have not dulled this impulse, and much good has come of it. The huge leaps in technology, as well as the great scientific discoveries of the last few centuries, were largely driven by the impulse to find faster, better, more efficient ways to get things done.

However, to slightly paraphrase Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings“: “Shortcuts sometimes make long delays.”

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