Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Facebook to rank news outlets by trustworthiness

Facebook to rank news outlets by trustworthiness

Last week, Facebook said it was tweaking its News Feed algorithm so that public content from brands would receive less priority than posts by users' friends and family. But as Zuckerberg has now revealed in his January 19 post, the news that people do see from publishers will also come from a more limited number of sources. "Or we could ask you - the community - and have your feedback determine the ranking". "It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community".

Facebook is rolling out a major change to its News Feed: pushing up news articles that come from "high quality" sources, and pushing down the others. So it's asking users which news publications they trust.

For the first change in the USA next week, publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution.

Facebook says it is also increasing its focus on local news in 2018, and it adding a section specifically to read about events and stories nearby.

The trust ranking will help to address fake news stories, said David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, a trade group for old-line USA newspapers. This comes after putting loads of effort into building up Facebook as the place where people get their news. If the answer is no, then it's evident people are trusting too many untrustworthy sources.

Facebook won't be assessing the trustworthiness of news outlets itself.

HOLY FUCK, MARK. If people can not tell truth from bullshit, why are those same people being used to rank publications on a scale of trustworthiness?

Executives have regularly backed away from claims that, as one of the world's most influential information portals, Facebook acts as a media organization - with the responsibilities to separate fact from fiction that go along with that mantle. Many experts said that this change might be about China. Rather, they'll let the users decide what counts as a trusted source.

Facebook and other social media sites are under pressure in Washington to take more ownership of their content and its policing.

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