Facebook announced on Friday that it will start ranking news outlets based on how widely they’re trusted by the platform's users.
Publishers with higher ratings will get priority in users’ news feeds, a move that the company says will cut down on “sensationalism, misinformation and polarization” in the media.
“We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective,” Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Amazon draws COVID scrutiny Meta exec who co-founded Diem digital currency leaving the company Two lawyers who filed suit challenging election results ordered to pay nearly 7K MORE wrote in a post.
Facebook began surveying users last week on their familiarity with certain outlets and how much they trust them. Eventually, the company will broaden its questionnaires in order to prioritize outlets that are “trustworthy, informative, and local.”
Last week, Facebook said it was tweaking its News Feed algorithm so that public content from brands would receive less priority than posts by users’ friends and family. It’s still unclear how much of an effect that move will have on the media world, or the extent to which it differs from previous announcements.
In its announcement on Friday, Facebook warned that publishers who scored low on the trustworthy rankings may see their traffic decline.
“This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.”