Facebook asks users to judge trustworthiness of news sources

23 January, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • New Facebook update to prioritise trustworthy news Zuckerberg

"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".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is calling on its users to help rank news sources on the platform, based on the metric of trust.

The initial change means that users will see less public content; dropping from making up 5% of News Feed posts, to 4%.

The move is the latest effort by the group to overcome the dissemination of so called fake news. However most likely, supply and demand forces will drive up the price of what space remains for publishers, meaning Facebook wins, by charging publishers a higher premium for ad space and showing them less frequently on our feeds.

Zuckerberg says that some news organizations 'are only broadly trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don't follow them directly.' But this is complicated.

It's a change aimed at ensuring "the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent", said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Breaking down this major decision by Facebook starts with evaluating why it was made in the first place, who it'll be influencing, and how.

In terms of Facebook's attempt to use community feedback to decide what news shows up on a user's feed, Himelboim said it was a slippery slope.

"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.

Jasmine Pickel, SVP of social media at North 6th Agency, looks at the impact of Facebook's recently-announced changes to how its news feed will work. And we're starting next week with trusted sources.

Two weeks ago Facebook had said that it would prioritise content that has been shared by friends and family while de-emphasizing content from publishers and businesses.

However, according to Facebook executive Adam Mosseri, ranking sources based on user trust is unchartered territory and may not be as easy as it sounds. "Our opinions of news are driven by strong emotional attachments to underlying sociopolitical issues. Put simply, our research shows that we'll trust anyone to be objective about their kitchen appliances, but when it comes to news, we want experts who can verify the facts".

To this, Zuckerberg assured that the company's product teams have been notified of the increasing amount of "spam" and are working on developing new methods to decrease the amount of public content appearing on the News Feed.



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