Facebook Moves To Decide What Is Real News

21 January, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Adriana

As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they're familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them", Zuckerberg continued.

Today we're sharing the second major update we're making this year: to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality.

The company asserts that its own executives will not pick and choose favorites. "Publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decrease".

In a blog post and a Facebook post from CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, the company said it is surveying users about their familiarity with and trust in news sources.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, VP of product management, Adam Mosseri, who oversees the news feed, said "This is an interesting and tricky thing for us to pursue because I don't think we can decide what sources of news are trusted and what are not trusted, the same way I don't think we can't decide what is true and what is not".

Starting next week, we will begin tests in the first area: to prioritize news from publications that the community rates as trustworthy.

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But it's clear that Prime is the backbone of Amazon's e-commerce engine and it's being forced to carry ever more weight. The company did say earlier this month that it shipped more than 5 billion items via its Prime service in 2017.

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Facebook says the surveys will come from a cross section of its users, but it's unknown just how many users it plans to survey or how it will determine that cross section.

Two years ago, Facebook users saw hoaxes saying Pope Francis endorsed Republican Donald Trump for USA president and that a federal agent investigating Democrat Hillary Clinton was found dead. "Facebook has stopped being fun and is now frustrating", one Facebook user lamented.

You may also get to have a say in the trustworthiness of a news outlet after Zuckerberg announced he will use member surveys to identify high-quality outlets. In 2016, Republican US lawmakers expressed concern that Facebook, based in liberal Northern California, was suppressing news stories of interest to conservative readers.

Facebook will start rolling out the feature in the USA first, with plans to take it global in the future. Naturally, many publishers may be anxious about where they will end up on Facebook's ranking of trust sources.

This data will influence what others see in their news feeds, Zuckerberg added.

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