Facebook revamps to help users fight fake news

Adriana

Adriana

In a detailed post on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg writes "There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today". 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.

"Today I'm sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality".

The company asserts that its own executives will not pick and choose favorites. The tech giants have since announced a number of measures meant to crack down on what their users can see or hear, in the name of fighting "fake news".

By the start of next week, Facebook will allow its users to rank news sources they see as the most credible and trustworthy so it can better rank and prioritize them in its News Feed.

To do so, he said, Facebook made a decision to rely on member surveys as the most "objective" way to rank trust in news sources.

The Internet has plenty to say in response to the announcement.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, speaks during the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in Stanford, California, USA, 24 June 2016 (reissued 11 January 2018).

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It says it has surveyed a "diverse and representative sample" of U.S. users and next week it will begin testing prioritizing the news sources deemed trustworthy.

A Facebook spokesperson told Quartz that the change will have no impact on Facebook's partnerships with outside fact-checkers, an ongoing effort to stamp out fake news from the platform.

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.

He said that Facebook has got a feedback from the 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.

Facebook will then prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local.

The change will affect not only links posted by news outlets but also news stories that individuals share, Facebook said. In 2016, Republican US lawmakers expressed concern that Facebook, based in liberal Northern California, was suppressing news stories of interest to conservative readers.

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

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