Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Facebook wants its users to rank news organisations on trustworthiness

Facebook wants its users to rank news organisations on trustworthiness

Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure that NEWS stays on top of your Facebook news feed.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today", Zuckerberg said in a post. "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".

The changes have the potential to reshape the kind of content and the amount of adspend that Facebook takes and recent coverage has noted brands' worries around this.

"Recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content - posts from businesses, brands and media - is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other", company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had explained in a public post. News sources that consistently get low ratings by users will be penalized, in ways that are not yet known.

In one of the most significant shifts to its platform since its inception, the changes are meant to boost users' "meaningful interactions" on the network, in an effort "to make sure that our products are not just fun but good for people", CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with the New York Times.

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As part of its ongoing quality surveys, from this week Facebook in the U.S. will begin asking people whether they're familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. "That's why it's important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground".

In its latest effort to solve fake news, Facebook is implementing a system in which users will be asked to complete surveys to determine the quality of news postings. Zuckerberg said Friday because of that, news posts will make up 4 percent of the news feed, down from 5 percent today. Last year, NY magazine reported on a study that found that "people who see an article from a trusted sharer, but one written by an unknown media source, have much more trust in the information than people who see the same article from a reputable media source shared by a person they do not trust".

Facebook wants to make sure its users aren't duped by stories from untrustworthy news publications.

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.

The hard question we've struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division. "We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective".

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