Breitbart Tech: Facebook has announced plans to rank the visibility of news sources based on whether they are “broadly trusted.” The mainstream media is reporting this as a win for users, and an abdication of responsibility on Facebook’s part. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If Facebook really wanted to let users determine what news sources they trust, they already have a perfectly functioning system for doing that. It’s called “likes.” If the platform were truly giving power back to the users, they would let them see news from sources that they choose, via the liking system.
Instead, Facebook is going to rank and de-rank news sites based on complicated user surveys aimed at discovering “broadly trusted” sources. Here’s how Mark Zuckerberg explained it:
We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.
Here’s how this will work. As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly. (We eliminate from the sample those who aren’t familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)
Of course, if Zuckerberg really wanted to let “the community determine” what news sources they want to read, their “like” system already serves as a daily multi-billion user survey. What Facebook is subtly telling users is, they don’t care what you like.
In his announcement, Zuckerberg was transparent about his objectives. He wants to socially engineer his users away from “polarization” and “misinformation.” read more