Facebook is going to start sorting news sources by how “trustworthy” its users think they are — a major change as the social media giant continues to come under fire over the spread of misinformation on its platform.
On Friday, the California giant announced in a blog post that it is altering the algorithm for picking 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 people’s local community.”
Facebook won’t be assessing the trustworthiness of news outlets itself. Instead, News Feed head Adam Mosseri said that users are being polled on what outlets they believe trustworthy or otherwise, and that data will be used to rank outlets.
“We surveyed a diverse and representative sample of people using Facebook across the US to gauge their familiarity with, and trust in, various different sources of news. This data will help to inform ranking in News Feed,” he wrote.
But there are already concerns that this could prioritise partisan sources of information. A right-wing user polled might consider CNN highly 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.
This literally reinforces biased outlets. https://t.co/9Ls8XtU6hO
— Myles Udland (@MylesUdland) January 19, 2018
Earlier in 2018, Facebook announced it would be making major changes to the News Feed to prioritise updates from friends and family, while de-emphasising news and brands, to try and foster what CEO Mark Zuckerberg described as “meaningful interaction.”
The changes came after Facebook — and the broader tech industry — came under a barrage of criticism over its impact on society, from its role in spreading Russian propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 Read More Here