Facebook today announced that its News Feed will soon give priority to trustworthy news outlets. The gauge for what Facebook considers high-quality news will come in part from a survey of Facebook users to determine which news outlets they find most trustworthy. Local news and news outlets that Facebook users deem informative will also be given priority.
Tests of a Trusted Sources program used to determine which the news outlets users deem most trustworthy will begin next week, first in the U.S. and then in other nations around the world. More details on initiatives to identify informative news outlets may be shared later this year, according to a Facebook blog post.
“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. That’s why it’s important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post about an hour ago.
Today’s news about the news media follows a News Feed update announced last week to surface more engaging content from friends and less public content like links to news stories in user’s News Feeds.
“After this change, we expect news to make up roughly 4 percent of News Feed — down from roughly 5 percent today,” Zuckerberg said.
Last week, Zuckerberg warned that the change set to take place later this year will result in more quality time and conversation with friends on Facebook but less engagement.
Facebook has faced criticism from lawmakers in Washington D.C. and other governments for its failure to address fake news circulated on its platform during national elections.