Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday, via Facebook post, that it is reshaping the method for selecting news to show in its News Feed to prioritise three factors: Whether the news is considered "trustworthy", whether it is "informative", and whether it is relevant to user's local community. Currently, 5 percent of posts Facebook users see come from news organizations; that number will drop to 4 percent after the redesign. However, based on the results of recent tests that Facebook is conducting, these changes are causing much bigger problems such as helping boost the presence of Fake News, the New York Times reports.
What's more, this announcement to tweak the News Feed to put people first could be nothing more than a stunt.
"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today", Zuckerberg writes. A right-wing user polled might consider CNN extremely untrustworthy but rate a right-wing blog far more highly - even if CNN is, in reality, a more accurate source of information about current affairs. In the fall, Facebook began testing a split News Feed, with posts from friends in one location and posts from news publications in another.
To do so, he said, Facebook chose to rely on member surveys as the most "objective" way to rank trust in news sources.
Facebook won't be assessing the trustworthiness of news outlets itself. More specifically, it will come from "trusted" media sources that have been vetted by Facebook's community of users.
The new "trusted sources" ranking, which starts next week, would aim to "make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality" and "helps build a sense of common ground" rather than sow division, Zuckerberg said. "We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we were comfortable with".
On January 12, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post that Facebook was making major changes in its newsfeed algorithm.
The social network has long struggled with fake or misleading news on its platform.