Facebook's New Tool Will Target Fake News

by anthonydm on February 6, 2017 - 12:50am

News summary from an article from abc news wrote by the Associated Press on January 25th, 2017
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/facebook-tweaks-trending-feat...
The Associated Press, the writer of the article, is "an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City that operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. The AP is owned by its contributing newspapers and radio and television stations in the United States, all of which contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. "

Facebook announced on Wednesday that their trending list will now have articles covered by more than one publisher. It will no longer focus on subjects that brought the biggest crowds, which should make Facebook more credible for news and bring their 1,8 billion users towards subjects that should "reflect real world events being covered by multiple outlets," said Will Cathcar, who is the vice president of product management at the company.

This switch will bring a broader perspective and might also prevent users from being protected by a "filter bubble". This topic aso brought doubts regarding the influence that Facebook has over their users, especially after a blog reported that some of their editors deleted posts that were conservative on their website. The company also fired the team of journalists occupied of the trending section of the website and replaced them with an algorithm that should have a more neutral view. Some people complained that the algorith picked out the posts that were getting the most attention, like with some fake news stories that regarded Hilary Clinton, and made some believe that it helped to make Donald Trump a more popular choice at the elections.

In order to stop or at least reduce the fake news from being published on the website, they will also banish perpetual publishers of fake news from their network. 

Facebook is a very popular news source, especially for millenials: http://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2016/04/29/facebook-most-comm.... Therefore, it is logical that Facebook uses their ''trending'' feature as reliably as they can.

Facebook's update of trending feature: http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/01/continuing-our-updates-to-trending/