With Facebook’s access more farther than ever, it has understandably become the favourite medium for fake news propagandists. To root out such fake news and accusations, Facebook has decided to modify its trending list. As the name suggests, the main purpose of this feature is to deliver the top news to the users.
At the outset, this feature consisted of topics that were most talked about or had the most shares and comments on them. The implementation of this modification will bring news and topics only from authorized publishers.
This change will help make Facebook a more reliable source of information for its 1.8 billion users. Moreover, this feature will also bring authentic news covered by authentic sources. In a blog post, Vice President of product management at Facebook, Will Cathcart stated:
“These topics will reflect real world events being covered by multiple outlets”
Same Region, Same News
Other than that, this modification in the trending feature will also stop customizing the trending list according to each user’s personal interests. Now, people living in the same regions currently U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and India will get the same news trending in their area.
It will also help the users get a more realistic view of the world. Instead of just looking at topics and information they already know, they will get engaged with the ones they don’t know. This will greatly help to wake up the people from a world that is designed according to their interests and likings.
The trending list was introduced by Facebook in 2014. This feature served as a competitor to a same feature introduced by Twitter at that time. Twitter introduced short-messaging service which competed for people’s attention and advertising revenue.
Steps to Rule out Publishers of Fake News
Last summer, it was reported by a technology blog that Facebook’s editors tried to suppress conservative perspectives on the website. This raised many questions about the influence of the news posted by Facebook. Due to this, Facebook had to fire the journalists responsible for the case and replaced them with an algorithm. This algorithm proved to be more successful as it neutrally decided what to show on the trending list.
Initially, this step attracted everyone as it conveyed the right news to the users. But after a while, it was seen that the algorithm supplies news which gains the most attention even if it’s a false one. More fake news was published in the trending list including stories targeting Hillary Clinton and her accusations on Donald Trump.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook did not pay much attention to the matter initially. However, after the dominance of fake news over the real one became greater, he decided to take a step. In December, the company announced that it will take steps to root out fake news. He also decided to provide the public with the real and authentic one.
In order to stop the creation of such fake topics, Facebook has decided to ban the publishers who provide such news from its advertisement network.
Google has also decided to take the same step. As Google manages an even bigger advertisement network, it took Google 6 weeks to review the publishers. In a report released on Wednesday, it was revealed that the company fired 200 publishers from its AdSense network who provided fake and misinterpreted news.
Google and Facebook have taken a great step and it will surely make the internet a safe and authentic source of information.
Source: Telegraph / image: Getty Images