Marketing 2 min read

Facebook Prioritizes Original News Reporting on its Platform

DenPhotos / Shutterstock.com

DenPhotos / Shutterstock.com

Facebook has updated its algorithm to prioritize the ranking of original news reporting and demoting news with non-transparent authorship.

Facebook has long been criticized for not doing enough to fight misinformation and hate speech on its platform.

In the last week, this outrage has grown into a #StopHateforProfit campaign movement that involves several high-profile companies. These include Verizon, Coca-Cola, Honda, Adidas, and Volkswagen, to name a few.

In response, Facebook says it doesn’t allow hate speech on its platform. However, the company admitted that it could do more to tackle the issue.

On Friday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some policy change to help Facebook fight hate speech and misinformation. For example, the platform will label newsworthy content from politicians that violate the company’s content standard.

Now, Facebook has announced changes that’ll prioritize original news reporting on the platform.

In a blog post announcement, VP of Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown and product manager at Facebook, Jon Levin wrote:

“Today, we’re updating the way news stories are ranked in News Feed to prioritize original reporting and stories with transparent authorship.”

Although the company executives didn’t mention the ad boycott, the changes suggest a concrete step towards fighting misinformation.

Prioritizing Original News Reporting and Demoting Non-Transparent Authorship

Facebook is prioritizing original news articles. That means when multiple news outlets post stories on the same subject, the algorithm will boost the original article in people’s feed.

How does Facebook intend to identify the original post?

It goes back to the outbound links. The Facebook algorithm assumes that the other post will frequently link to the source of the news.

With that said, the changes only apply to articles that publishers’ pages share. It doesn’t include news posts from personal connections such as friends and family.

Aside from promoting original news content, the social media giant is also demoting articles with non-transparent authorship.

“We are also starting to demote news content that does not have transparent information about the publisher’s editorial staff.”

Facebook says it’ll start reviewing news articles for bylines. A staff page on the publisher’s website must include the first and last names of reporters and other editorial staff.

Facebook isn’t the first to prioritize original news reporting on its platform. Last year, Google also announced a similar change to its search engine algorithm.

Read More: Facebook Adds Wikipedia Knowledge Panels to Search Result

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