Facebook Fake News

In the fight against fake news, Facebook is engaged in a vast overhaul of its content

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Facebook has embarked on the biggest overhaul of content on its network in recent years: users will now have a new version of the News Feed, where priority will be given to publications shared by family and friends. A way to fight against fake news?
 
The announcement was made during the night of Thursday to Friday by the social network, after a test phase of several months in half a dozen countries around the world, with a stated desire to focus on the well-being of Internet users. Concretely, photos, links or comments posted by friends or acquaintances will remain visible on the feed, unlike the elements coming from pages "liked" by users, who will be less present.
 
Pages see their audience, video viewing time and traffic decrease. This will vary from page to page depending on a variety of factors, such as the type of content produced and how users interact with« The newest member of the Facebook News Feed, Adam Mosseri, said in a blog post.
 
This new organisation should make it possible to promote interaction and personal relations between users," John Hegeman, head of the group's news feeds, told AFP.
It's a big change.« he points out. « People are actually going to spend less time on Facebook, but that's fine with us because it will make the time they spend there more valuable and ultimately it will be good for our business.
 
Facebook believes, for example, that a family photo is more valuable to a user than a clip from a star or an advertisement for a clothing brand. « We believe that interaction between people is more important than passive consumption of content.« This is "one of the most important updates" Facebook has ever made, Hegeman said.

Concerned media

But the new feature is of particular concern to the media, who see content posted on their pages as secondary and fear major consequences for their ability to reach their readers unless they sponsor content on the news feed.
 
In countries where the functionality has been tested since October, such as Slovakia, Guatemala or Bolivia, the media have observed a significant drop in visits to their websites from Facebook. Publications made by the media, as well as content posted by brands, were then relegated to a separate feed ("explore"), which was finally not retained in the final version of the update.
 
It's pretty healthy.« However, according to a Parisian analyst quoted by AFP, "? Facebook doesn't want to take too much responsibility for spreading false information. And it's time for the media to take back control and no longer be dependent on the GAFA.. »
 
The group's co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has made it a priority to bring together people using his network in real life. He cited several studies that have shown that interactions with family and friends promote well-being, much more than, for example, reading newspaper articles. All the more so as the social network, like Twitter, has recently been criticized for allowing false information to flourish on its site, such as the content published by the Russians during the 2016 US presidential campaign.
 
However, this criticism could persist, as the new functioning of Facebook's news feed does not relegate to the background articles or videos shared by friends, which remain the primary cause of false information virality on social networks.
 
Source: AFP
 

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