Facebook will reportedly begin to rank news outlets based on the level of trust users have in them as determined by surveys conducted by the social media platform.
The Washington Post reports that shortly after Facebook announced major changes to their newsfeed, which would prioritize posts from users’ friends and family above publications and advertisers, the social media service will now allow users to rank news outlets by level of trust. This seems to be a reaction by Facebook to criticism over the alleged spread of “fake news” across their platform. Facebook previously appointed ABC News and Snopes, among others, as arbiters of fake news, but it seems that the company will now use a survey of users to determine which news sources are trusted the most.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the new timeline change in a post on Facebook’s blog. Zuckerberg stated, “Today I’m sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality. I’ve asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we’re starting next week with trusted sources.”
The full post can be seen below,
Facebook stated that in 2018 they will be focusing on:
- News from publications that the community rates as trustworthy
- News that people find informative
- News that is relevant to people’s local community
Facebook stated that they, “surveyed a diverse and representative sample of people using Facebook across the US to gauge their familiarity with, and trust in, various different sources of news,” in order to create the new “trusted sources” ranking. Naturally, many publishers may be worried about where they will end up on Facebook’s ranking of trust sources. Facebook stated, “We’ll be working on these efforts for the rest of the year. For the first change in the US next week, publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution. Publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decrease.”
Read the full blog post on Facebook here.