Facebook: News Feed changes aren't to blame for failing news websites

Speaking at SXSW on Friday, Facebook director of product Alex Hardiman said that a change in News Feed ranking wouldn't be enough to entirely decimate an outlet's traffic.

When we look at the publishers who aren't doing well, most likely it's because they're abusing the system in some ways. The content could be sensationalist, it could be misleading in certain ways.
— Alex Hardiman

Why it matters: Media companies routinely criticize Facebook for carelessly wielding its enormous power over their distribution and ability to reach readers. Just in the last two weeks, two websites announced they'll be shutting down following Facebook's decision to tweak its News Feed to emphasize news less.