There are some positives to the algorithm approach to filtering and recommending content. First the best algorithms don’t just take popularity into account. That would lead to a very uniform celebrity based feed that the author correctly sees as detrimental to democracy. Facebook, Google, even Spotify don’t just look at the surface when it comes to the signals their algorithms evaluate. Second, and more importantly, algorithms can be unbiased in a way that humans, with even the best intentions, can not be. Google famously moved their servers out of China than compromise their algorithms. The democratic link-based web that the author correctly identities as an endangered species was built upon the search engine algorithms of the early web.