In Facebook’s latest effort to throttle the deluge of misinformation plaguing its newsfeed, the tech titan has announced that it will seek counsel within its own community – by letting users determine and rank which news outlets are trustworthy.
This announcement follows Mark Zuckerberg’s January 11 post, explaining the company’s plan to roll out major updates to the News Feed feature this year. Facebook is proclaiming its commitment to and focus on “making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent” in 2018 – a New Year’s resolution of sorts.
While most of us sat down at the end of 2017 and set goals for the coming year around eating healthier, exercising more and saving money (or opted to make no changes at all) – Facebook’s 2018 aspirations are all about eliminating fake news and clickbait by cutting down on the overall visibility of public content, including video, news, and posts shared by brands
In the most recent News Feed FYI, Facebook emphasized its mission to reprioritize news visibility based on the information’s qualification as coming from a trusted source, delivering informative content or local news. And how will these specific qualifications be defined? Facebook has delegated this responsibility to its users. Mark Zuckerberg explains:
“As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. 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.”
In other words, Facebook is crowdsourcing the social platform’s 2018 facelift. It’s kind of similar to the premise of the American television show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
(Image courtesy of Operation Blessing International)
Many Facebook users who live on the site and have witnessed its revolution over the past few years can’t wait for ‘the big reveal’. Others, particularly news outlets and businesses operating on the platform, aren’t too eager to see what’s waiting for them on the other side…
After the announcement, the Internet erupted like a super volcano of extreme opinions, commentary and speculation around the impending changes. But whether you *Like* the News Feed overhaul or not, the ability to adapt to, thrive among, and promote the overall objective of these updates – “to help bring people closer together by encouraging more meaningful connections” – will require a concerted effort from all participating parties.
Will Facebook stick with its 2018 resolution? Will users accurately and effectively rank the trustworthiness of news sources? Will your brand survive the so-called “News Feed Apocalypse” Time will tell. Stay tuned…