Feb 1, 2017

Facebook's plan to bury fake news


  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.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health