Sci-tech

Facebook blasted for simple two-question news trust survey

Facebook blasted for simple two-question news trust survey”

Facebook, under pressure to thwart fake news, said last week that it would survey users to find out what news publications they deem trustworthy.

The questions being asked are shown below. In the end, however, it felt that feedback from the Facebook community itself was the best and most objective way to identify trusted news sources.

"Hard to view Facebook news survey as anything other than yet another attempt to shirk responsibility for the integrity of its service", tweeted Chris Williams, deputy business editor of the Telegraph newspaper. The "real news" of the News Feed will probably shrink from the current 5 percent of the content to about 4 percent. Nonetheless, there are still - reasonable - concerns that asking an audience already manipulated by fake news, including articles promoted by foreign governments during the United States presidential campaign in an apparent attempt to sway the result in favor of one candidate over another, may not be the very best way to gage what content is legitimate.

He adds that some sources are trusted by those who regularly consume it, while others are trusted by even those that don't follow them.

Being pickier with the news will not greatly affect the general flow of news in the News Feed, Zuckerberg said.

He further argues that this survey will allow the company to shift to prioritizing news that is found to be a good source of news by the user base. Facebook previously announced that it wanted to make its News Feed more intimate again.

In addition to news trustworthiness, Facebook is concerned with the quality of information content.

A new initiative from the social media site is going to deprioritize content from Facebook pages and put an emphasis on interactions between family and friends.

Needless to say any publisher falling foul of the mob is likely to see their traffic take a sizeable hit. By showing fewer videos and posts from businesses that pay for the exposure, it could also lower Facebook's bottom line.

Some journalists have complained that the questions over-simplify matters, but the social network has said it will combine the results with other data. However, Zuckerberg countered by saying that time spent on "Facebook will be more valuable".



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