Stories

Facebook's plan to bury fake news

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  1. Adding universal engagement data to its algorithm to better identify and rank "authentic content" in your newsfeed
  2. Categorizing pages to identify whether they're posting spam or gaming the system for engagement
  3. Accounting for changes in personal "signals" or engagements in real time to make newsfeeds more personalized with timely updates

How they're framing it: "We've heard from our community that authentic stories are the ones that resonate most — those that people consider genuine and not misleading, sensational or spammy."

What they mean: We're algorithmically weeding out fake news from your feed because it's affecting user engagement and brand loyalty and that's bad for our business.

Why this matters: This is the first time Facebook has announced changes in how they will weigh content in individual newsfeeds. Until recently, the technology giant was weary of calling itself a media company and denied its fake news problem. Shortly after the 2016 election, Mark Zuckerberg called it "crazy" to think that fake news on Facebook affected the outcome of the election. The company has since taken strategic steps to tackle fake news, including hiring several high-level journalists to better inform their news decisions.