Facebook, still under fire for allowing users to be bombarded with ‘fake news’ during the 2016 presidential election, has already tried implementing various changes to make its news cycle more trustworthy for users, but so far all of those have been deemed not very effective.
As it had to appear alongside Google and Twitter before Congress and faced tough questions from lawmakers with regards to its influence on the US news cycle, the company vowed to make changes.
In the latest spin on the issue, and to make sure its users aren't duped by stories from what is calls untrustworthy news publications, the social network is now asking users to rank the news publications they trust.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced they would use surveys to rate news organizations and assign them trust scores. Based on the Facebook user scores, along with other factors which weren’t defined, the company will then decide how much to show a source in people's news feeds.
Mr. Zurkerberg explained: "There's too much sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization in the world today."
"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 said.
The move comes one week after President Trump assigned his fake news awards and many are waiting to see if Facebook will take the opposite path on this one. Facebook claims it will be as objective as possible in deciding which factors to add to deliver the final ratings. According to them, the surveys will ask a "diverse and representative" sample of users.
Of course, as a result, several news outlets that score well should expect their stories to be spread more widely on Facebook, while those with lower scores might see less activity.
Mr. Zuckerberg continued: "The hard question we've struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division."
"We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we were comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem."
The scores won't be made public.