Facebook Introducing Sweeping Changes: Will Prioritze Only "Trustworthy" News

In a move that is set to infuriate news organizations that are not deemed "trustworthy", Facebook is set to introduce "sweeping changes" to its newsfeed as early as next week, prioritizing trustworthy sites and removing "clickbait" and low quality news publishers, while promoting posts from friends and family, the WSJ reports.

Under its new approach, Facebook would evaluate parameters such as public polling about news outlets, and whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers. Such variables would inform its algorithm that determines which publishers’ posts are pushed higher in the feed, one of the people said.

It is not known how Facebook will decide which publications are deemed trustworthy.

The move would thrust Facebook into an even more active role in deciding what content is acceptable on its site, in other words censoring content it deems inappropriate while promoting news outlets that are ideologically aligned with the organization.

While the WSJ writes that Facebook hasn’t decided whether to proceed with the shift, and it may choose not to do so, the FT disagrees and reports that the world’s largest social network will unveil the change imminently, according to people briefed on the plans, hoping to differentiate between salacious content and quality news. "Zuckerberg has finally realized that not all news is equal," said one publisher - clearly on the promoted sight of "equal" - briefed on the plans. 

While Facebook will try to make the newsfeed a place for personal sharing and in-depth discussions - similar to Snapchat - and move other content from pages and publishers to a separate space within the app, the move is widely expected to infuriate news organizations which are not deemed trustworthy or high quality by the site.

Meanwhile, the change to the algorithm is sure to have a dramatic impact - whether positive or negative - on the revenue of virtually all news organization who now rely almost exclusively on facebook for inbound traffic referral.

Publishers have become increasingly reliant on Facebook as more and more news is consumed on the app. They may see traffic drop if they are moved to an area of the app which users end up not visiting.

Why now? The dramatic change comes after Mark Zuckerberg set a goal for the year to focus on fixing the important issues about Facebook’s role in the world.

“Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

While the transformation is seen as an attempt to increase trust in the social app, which has suffered from a reputation for fake news since the 2016 US presidential election, it will likely backfire: in December, FaceBook ditched its first attempt at soft censorship when it removed its "fake news flag" when it found that people shared the flagged articles even more.

Ironically, the newsfeed overhaul is also said to be "an attempt to encourage more sharing and personal connecting, amid a backlash with many people worrying about social media sucking up time and damaging users’ mental health" according to the FT.

In reality, it will only succeed in further alienating an already deeply polarized American population.

Yet while it remains to be seen what impact on Facebook, or Zuckerberg's 2020 presidential ambitions, this latest foray into censorship has, the biggest losers are clear.

Last year, the company tested separating friends and family posts from those posted by businesses and publishers. It created a tab called “Explore” for those other posts in six countries including Sri Lanka, Slovakia and Cambodia. What happened next? Publishers in those countries complained that traffic fell dramatically.

At the time, Adam Mosseri, head of newsfeed, said Facebook currently had no plans to roll this test out further in other countries and said it was unfortunate that some had "mistakenly made that interpretation." It now appears that this "test" is about to applied to everyone.



J S Bach Gap Admirer Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

"The move would thrust Facebook into an even more active role in deciding what content is acceptable on its site..."

Correction -

"The move will thrust Facebook into an even more inactive and irrelevant role in deciding what content is acceptable as more and more people abandon the jewy censorship propaganda machine."

There... that's better.

In reply to by Gap Admirer

Jim in MN J S Bach Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:27 Permalink

I wonder when FB will ban Pepe Escobar?

That would truly be telling.

Also The Hill.  Everyone in DC reads The Hill for fucks' sake, and that's where John Soloman is tearing apart the Muellergate domestic spying story (along with his former co-author Sara Carter, still with Circa News).

These fuckheads like Clinton, McCain and Zuckerman will soon enough disappear up their own assholes.  And good riddance.

In reply to by J S Bach

Koba the Dread Kurpak Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:27 Permalink

Unfortunately, Kurpak, billions of people use Facebook. Unfortunately, many of them are Americans. But Facebook is a symptom, not the illness. The illness is the total stupidification of the American people, a disease that began when American universities went hippie in the 1960s. It also began when universities began whoring for the military-industrial-CIA complex, taking dollars for doing the government's bidding, corporations' bidding, trading truth for lies for a big bag of bucks.

It's all over now. How do you turn a nation of imbeciles who are convinced they're both intelligent and educated into intelligent educated people? Look at our school system. Look at what are called universities, the home of laughable "higher" education, casting fake pearls before real swine. Look at the content of television. Look at the content of Facebook. Look at two thirds of ZH's comments which have no content except scatological and adolescent sexual fantasies. Look around you.

Who uses Facebook? Probably most of your acquaintances do.

Did I mention Twitter? No? Look who uses Twitter. . . .

In reply to by Kurpak

konadog Thu, 01/11/2018 - 19:58 Permalink

Sounds like FB wants to achieve irrelevance. Good. It's a POS. News flash Zuckerboy - mockingbird MSM is now fully exposed and irrelevant even to the plebs.

CheapBastard Infinityx2 Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

I thought this was interesting. While I was sitting in a lawyer's office thumbing thru his journals there was an article showing a poll of how many law firms use FB, Twitter, etc.


NONE of the top 10 law firms use it and the very #1 firm's managing partner said, "we do  not need social media to advertise because we're already top dog" and "social media is only for teenagers who have lots of time on their hands."


Or something to that effect.

In reply to by Infinityx2

earleflorida JamesBond Thu, 01/11/2018 - 23:23 Permalink


1st... we get a 'acting president' that flipped parties?

2nd... we get a quivering 'read my lips', CIA progenitor?

3rd.... we get 'i feel your pain' as he ass'rapes anything in a skirt?

4th..... we get 'your either with us or against us' that flew the bin'Laden's (all) families out of USSA 9/12/11 and destroys Iraq?

5th...... we get 'hope and change' where the only hope the plebs had left in their pocketbooks were worthless company store wooden tokens? 

6th....... we get 'MAGA' that gets his 'TAX America's Pleb's (reformation) Bill' where the trickle-down benefits will make USSA serfs paying into the gov't coffers an extra month, extending it to may 14 before we start working for ourselves.


In reply to by JamesBond

johnnycanuck Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:09 Permalink

Moar selective 'reporting'.

Other sources speak of Israel and the twitter in Chief's gov't o da United States dictating to Facebook's guy Zuckerberb the people or organizations they want shut down.

I don't want to lose my place to one of the trolls in this 'new format', so sorry don't have time to post link.