In another attempt to ‘fix’ Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social networking site will allow users to prioritise news content that a group of Facebook users have ranked as trustworthy.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Head of News, Adam Mosseri announced that the company has surveyed “a diverse and representative sample” of US citizens about the trust and familiarity of multiple news sources.
The survey will be used to implement News Feed rankings and Facebook plans to test the feature first in the US before rolling it out globally. Starting next week, “publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution.” Consequently, Mosseri wrote, “publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decrease.”
As part of the survey, users will be asked if they’re familiar with a news source and whether they trust it.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote on a Facebook post, “The idea is that some news organisations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly.”
Facebook will essentially eliminate sources that people aren’t familiar with, “so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.”
The move is part of Facebook’s broader attempt at revamping the News Feed to make it more personalised. Mark Zuckerberg’s agenda this year, according to a Facebook post he wrote at the beginning of 2018, is to “encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption.”
As part of the revamping process, the News Feed will not display less public content like news and promotions from brands.
Additionally, Facebook will also give priority to local news and will "continue to work on ways to show more local news that is relevant to where people live."
As per the Facebook Post, news will now make up four percent of content in the news feed, instead of five percent. However, Zuckerberg says the change “will not change the amount of news you see.”
“It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community. My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week’s update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent,” Zuckerberg wrote.