As a biomedical engineer with a degree from Johns Hopkins, Chris Aldrich is a bright young American mind. But he’s not out to create a new neural interface, or find the next polio vaccine: he wants to solve Facebook’s “Mom Problem.”

So, far more important.

See, for Chris, it’s personal

He’s a blogger — and every time he publishes his musings on Facebook, his mom is the first to like it.

That’s a problem. Because as soon as his mom hits that little thumbs up, Facebook’s algorithm treats his post as “family related” content, automatically narrowing the post’s audience to close relatives.

Unfortunately, Chris mostly posts content that doesn’t exactly thrill Auntie Jill (theoretical math and thermodynamics). So, his reach is limited to a few pity likes.

It’s a classic conundrum

Sadly, FB hasn’t factored mom’s unconditional love into its algorithm. But the company does allow you to control a post’s audience at a highly granular level.

Chris’s hack? He now excludes his mom (and a few other family members) when he publishes his nerdy musings.


Hold your pitchforks people: After the algorithm has run its course and reached its intended audience, he changes the audience back to public — and Mom gets to give her “baby boy” a digital smooch, then brag about his brilliance to her other 47 FB friends.

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