Facebook announced changes on Friday that will ask users to rank the news organizations they trust most.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that the company will conduct surveys as a way to combat fake news and misinformation.
He said the company doesn’t want to determine the trustworthiness of news sources on its own, especially in a “world with so much division,” so he’s putting the power in the hands of the people.
“The hard question we've struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division,” Zuckerberg said in the post. “We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we're comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem. Or we could ask you — the community — and have your feedback determine the ranking."
Continuing our focus for 2018 to make sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent... Last week I...
So how will it work?
Facebook will send out quality surveys to its users and ask them to answer whether or not they trust a given news source. Facebook will also ask users if they’re familiar with that news source. If they’re not, their vote won’t be counted for trustworthiness.
“The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don't follow them directly,” according to Zuckerberg.
“My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week's update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent: where we're strengthening our relationships, engaging in active conversations rather than passive consumption, and, when we read news, making sure it's from high quality and trusted sources,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook will provide a boost in readership to trusted news organizations. Meanwhile, untrustworthy ones will see a drop in traffic, according to The Washington Post. Facebook said it plans to add more local news outlets into the news feed, too.
Facebook announced a big change earlier this month to its news feed. It will now prioritize posts that focus on meaningful conversations you’ll have with family and friends.
According to Quartz, Facebook wants to make its users more actively engaged, which will increase the company’s ad prices.
“Facebook’s goal in changing the news feed is to shift us from being passive to being actively engaged. This, in turn, will drive more interaction with ads, so making the ads more valuable,” according to Quartz.