Trusted news to prevail; Facebook hands ranking powers to users

“Fake news”: Facebook will list sources according to their reliability

Facebook to Let Users Rank Credibility of News

News that is relevant to people's local community.

It's the second major tweak to Facebook's algorithm announced this month.

Users would also be asked to rank stories on how informative they are. The company has slowly acknowledged its role in that foreign interference.

As part of its ongoing quality surveys, from this week Facebook in the United States will begin asking people whether they're familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that Facebook's goal is to connect people and have them share stories and memories amongst their Facebook friends.

Zuckerberg said on Friday he expects recently announced changes to shrink the amount of news on Facebook by 20 percent, to about 4 percent of all content from 5 percent now.

The new Facebook adaptation comes just one week after Zuckerberg announced that the social media leader would begin showing fewer unpaid posts on its site from publishers and other brands so as to prioritize what he termed "meaningful" interactions between friends and family. It says it has surveyed a "diverse and representative sample" of USA users and next week it will begin testing prioritizing the news sources deemed trustworthy.

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Media agency execs welcomed the initial Facebook News Feed update, recognising it's the platform taking its first serious step in the fight against fake news.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarisation in the world today", Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. "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.

"Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground". "We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective". But this is complicated.

The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives, for-profit spammers and others spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 US election campaign. "Consumer reviews of news sources don't work because we can't personally verify the facts from direct experience", Alan Dennis, Antino Kim and Tricia Moravec, three independent researchers who have studied the Fake news problem wrote on BuzzFeed News.

The company said the move won't impact publishers based on how big they are or their ideological leanings.

Facebook founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.

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