Facebook to Prioritize 'Trustworthy' News

Facebook wasn't the only one putting time and money into getting news onto their network, media outlets spent millions chasing after coveted eyeballs by tailoring content and publishing directly to the "news" feed.

Facebook announced Friday it will ask users to grade news organizations based on trustworthiness in order to combat "sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization".

While many lauded this attempt at addressing the problems on the social media site, Facebook's solutions appear to be making everything so much worse.

"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 added. Zuckerberg acknowledged that having Facebook itself or a third-party consultant to determine the publishers will introduce a layer of subjectivity.

Shared by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post this afternoon, the second major change after cutting out news and promoted content in its efforts to "refocus the system", is to "make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality".

Daily local news headlines from across Gwinnett County. Expect to see less of the bad stuff fake news, clickbait articles but also less good stuff from brands.

The move is likely to send shockwaves through the media landscape in almost every country, given the ubiquity of the world's largest social network and how central it has become in some places to the distribution of news.

What's more, this announcement to tweak the News Feed to put people first could be nothing more than a stunt. For example, a right-leaning user Facebook polls might consider CNN extremely untrustworthy but rate a right-wing blog far higher - even if CNN is, in reality, a more accurate source of information about current affairs.

The change will affect not only links posted by news outlets but also news stories that individuals share, Facebook said. He said the company chose to rely on member surveys as the most "objective" way to rank trust in news sources.

  • Anthony Vega