Split Facebook News Feed doesn't decrease fake news, report says

Chelsea West
January 20, 2018

Accord to the publication, countries where Facebook as fiddling with its News Feeds have seen a spike in consumption of Fake News by basically reducing the presence of legitimate journalistic publications. "That's why it's important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground".

Letting Facebook users essentially decide which news outlets are reliable enough to be worthy of "distribution" on the site is a seriously risky endeavor.

Facebook said earlier this month it would be shifting its News Feed algorithms to prioritize The News Feed is currently created to prioritize relevant content from friends and family, but now will highlight content that people are likely to regardless if it comes from a peer or a company.

He wrote in the blog post: "We surveyed a diverse and representative sample of people using Facebook across the USA to gauge their familiarity with, and trust in, various different sources of news".

But there are concerns that this could prioritize partisan sources of information.

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The change comes amid criticism that the social network helps to spread misinformation. Eventually, the company will broaden its questionnaires in order to prioritize outlets that are "trustworthy, informative, and local".

In short: "Trustworthy" is not the same as "accurate".

On January 12, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post that Facebook was making major changes in its newsfeed algorithm.

"We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren't just fun to use, but also good for people's well-being", Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post last week. So it views community feedback as the most suitable method. We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we're comfortable with. A source's broad trust is one of many signals that determine stories' ranking in News Feed. "It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community".

To do so, he said, Facebook made a decision to rely on member surveys as the most "objective" way to rank trust in news sources.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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