Speaking at the Recode Media Conference, Facebook’s Head of News stated that Facebook will begin defining “quality news” and said that “not all news is created equal.”
Recode reports that during the Recode Media Conference, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, and Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, discussed the company’s new attitude towards news publishers on their platform. Brown discussed how the company plans to rank news on users newsfeeds and revealed that Facebook will be taking an active role in deciding which publishers deserve more exposure as the company attempts to fight “fake news” on their platform. “We are, the first time in the history of Facebook, taking a step to try to define what quality news looks like and give that a boost. Not all news is created equal,” said Brown.
Mosseri stated that Facebook plans to take a “very clear point of view” on a number of topics on their platform such as “hate speech” and “sensationalist news,” but did not define what these terms mean exactly. “Those are areas where I think it’s appropriate for us to have a point of view,” said Mosseri. “But I do think that there are other areas where it would be really inappropriate to have a point of view, given our scale,” such as political ideology.
Mosseri stated that Facebook was happy to take a point of view on certain subjects if it meant “leaning into quality news,” as well as pushing local media to the forefront along with “broadly trusted publishers.” Discussing the recent polls sent out to a select group of Facebook users to determine what counts as a “trusted publisher,” Mosseri said “This is not a popularity contest. We’re looking for trust by a wide range of people.”
Recode asked Campbell Brown if Facebook would ever consider paying publishers on their platform directly, a suggestion made by News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch, “I would never say never to anything,” Brown said, but didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the idea. “None of us know what the future looks like. I want to be open to everything and experiment with everything to try to get it right.”
Brown further discussed whether Facebook would attempt to attract news publishers to their platforms saying, “My job is not to go recruit people from news organizations to put their stuff on Facebook.” She continued, “If someone feels that being on Facebook is not good for your business, you shouldn’t be on Facebook.”
Watch the full event below: