Trusted news to prevail; Facebook hands ranking powers to users

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"We surveyed a diverse and representative sample of people using Facebook across the United States to gauge their familiarity with, and trust in, various different sources of news".

While news content would soon comprise of approximately 4% of what appears in people's News Feeds instead of 5%, the new update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook, said the group.

News outlets that score well can expect to see their stories to be more widely distributed on Facebook, while those with lower scores might see less activity.

After revealing this news, Facebook said it would remain vigilant and try to keep ahead of people trying to misuse the platform.

The idea is that some news organisations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don't follow them directly.

In a post shortly after New Year's Day, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed that 2018 would be be the year when he will "fix" his social network.

Facebook users are going to have to take extra steps if they truly want to see News Feed posts from their favorite sports teams, news media outlets, their local churches, restaurants they like and more. This change will only apply to US users, although - if successful - Facebook plans to enforce the effort internationally.

He said a "trusted and representative sample" of Facebook's users in the USA would provide the input for ranking news sources as far as trust was concerned. "You're also seeing news articles shared by friends which may come from sources that the user themselves does not trust", he said.

The first was for Facebook itself to decide trustworthiness, "but that's not something we're comfortable with", he wrote.

Facebook has announced it will prioritise news sources deemed to be more trustworthy on its News Feed.

The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives, for-profit spammers and others spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 USA election campaign. In 2017, a Reynolds Journalism Institute survey ranked the least and most trusted well- known news sources, with the Times doing just better than average.

Changes made by Facebook to its algorithm last week are already having a negative impact on both brands' and publishers' video views, according to new research. Zuckerberg said the effort is an attempt to help the platform promote "high quality news that builds a sense of common ground".

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