Facebook has recently been described by its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, as a new type of media platform. With this statement, the company has taken responsibility for the kind of news its users receive in their news feeds. To make sure the journalistic integrity will stand out from an ocean of fake news, the company will implement several changes. The main role in this cleaning process is occupied by the trending topics algorithm.
Facebook has just declared an offensive position regarding the wave of fake news that has become popular on any social media platform. As of recently, the company gave up on its own department of news editors to the benefit of its own algorithm. Since that moment on, the company relied solely on their digital bots to bring forward the news articles that passed a series of demands. However, these standards didn’t prove to be strong enough. Some people accused the social media platform of supporting fake news that presumably led to influencing the U.S. presidential votes.
Starting last Wednesday, the Facebook algorithm stopped checking content by the old standards. From now on, the trending topics software will protect the journalistic integrity by prioritizing content that is backed up by a number of trustworthy publishers. Moreover, the algorithm will no longer send personalized content for each user based on her or his activity on the platform. Instead, it is going to promote articles from a large array of topics.
This way, the company will avoid yet another controversial phenomenon. Facebook received criticisms according to which personalized content is creating a bubble effect. Instead of creating an open and tolerant world, this bubble secludes a person in his or her own personal convictions which leads to an inflexible way of thinking.
Facebook encourages its users to send their feedback based on which it will develop further adjustments to the Trending experience. The social media platform has already managed to build a community of 1.79 billion users. More people are starting to close their TVs and head for this website to find sources of news. According to Pew Research Center and Knight Foundation, 40% of Americans are seeing Facebook as a reliable source of information. The company is no longer just a distributor, but it also needs to limit the presence of untrustworthy publishers.
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