Facebook will begin to prioritise “trustworthy” news outlets on its stream of social media posts as it works to combat “sensationalism” and “misinformation”, its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said on Friday. The company, which has more than 2 billion monthly users, said it would use surveys to determine rankings on how trustworthy news outlets are.
Zuckerberg outlined the shakeup in a post on Facebook, saying that starting next week the news feed, the company’s centerpiece product, would prioritise “high quality news” over less trusted sources. “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarisation in the world today,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them,” he wrote.
At the same time, Zuckerberg said the amount of news overall on Facebook would shrink to roughly 4 per cent of the content on the news feed from 5 per cent currently.
Facebook has had a stormy relationship with news organisations, especially those with strong political leanings. In 2016, Republican lawmakers expressed concern that Facebook was suppressing news stories of interest to conservative readers.