Facebook Will ‘Temporarily Reduce’ Visibility of Political Content

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Facebook recently stated that it plans to temporarily reduce the visibility of political content for some users in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia as the company faces increased scrutiny over its ability to moderate misinformation and “hateful content.”

Forbes reports that Facebook revealed on Wednesday that it plans to temporarily reduce the visibility of political content for a small percentage of users in Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, and the United States. The company has faced increased scrutiny over its moderation abilities in recent months with many claiming that the site is failing to crack down on misinformation and “hateful content.”

In a blog post, Facebook stated:

Over the next few months, we’ll work to better understand peoples’ varied preferences for political content and test a number of approaches based on those insights. As a first step, we’ll temporarily reduce the distribution of political content in News Feed for a small percentage of people in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week, and the US in the coming weeks. During these initial tests we’ll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we’ll use going forward. COVID-19 information from authoritative health organizations like the CDC and WHO, as well as national and regional health agencies and services from affected countries, will be exempt from these tests. Content from official government agencies and services will also be exempt.

Facebook staffers have previously expressed support for a change to Facebook’s internal ranking system immediately after election day. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly allowed temporary tweaks to Facebook’s algorithm following the election that elevated mainstream news outlets on the platform.

Facebook has reportedly also heavily relied on an internal ranking system which it calls “news ecosystem quality” or N.E.Q. This was used to elevate content from publications such as the New York Times, CNN, and NPR. Facebook staffers have reportedly requested that the “nicer” news feed remain permanent but management has stated that the change is temporary.

Read more at Forbes here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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