In addition to the major changes Facebook announced for its News Feed last week, the social media service will begin ranking news sources based on trustworthiness. Rather than determining news source trustworthiness itself, Facebook will let users decide.
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.”
Zuckerberg says that there is too much misinformation and sensationalism and that if it isn’t addressed, social media like Facebook will inflate these problems.
As for how to achieve this goal of high quality news, Facebook will look for content to be trustworthy, informative, and local. The company will start by tackling the trustworthiness aspect first. After some difficulty, Zuckerberg and Facebook decided to let users rank news source trustworthiness.
The hard question we’ve struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division. We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that’s not something we’re comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem. Or we could ask you — the community — and have your feedback determine the ranking.
Here are the specifics of how this new change will work:
As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly. (We eliminate from the sample those who aren’t familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)
Zuckerberg hopes that these latest two News Feed changes will create more “meaningful interactions” and help people feel their time on Facebook is “well spent.”
What do you think? Is this latest change to let users rank news source trustworthiness a good approach? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!