Facebook turns to users to identify & rank trustworthy news platforms

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose California U.S

Feeling the pressure from Congress to "fix" his social media platform, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has resorted to crowdsourcing the ratings system for "trustworthy" news sources appearing on users' feeds. It will only shift the balance of news users see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community. It also said it would put an emphasis on local news sources.

However, the move is likely to have a huge impact on the media landscape in almost every country.

Facebook is giving power back to the people - by letting them choose which news sources should be prioritized on the site.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarisation in the world today", Zuckerberg said. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them", he expressly stated.

Facebook, Google and Twitter have come under pressure from Congress since the 2016 election, with many lawmakers declaring that "Russian agents" had used the social networks to interfere with American democracy.

We'll be working on these efforts for the rest of the year. "And we're starting next week with trusted sources", Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. That data will influence what others see in their news feeds.

Facebook has had a stormy relationship with news organisations, especially those with strong political leanings.

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"I get ads from places I have absolutely no interest in".

Facebook said that ranking by trustworthiness was not meant to directly impact any specific groups of publishers based on their size or ideology.

Facebook says it will start prioritising news sources deemed trustworthy in the U.S. and then internationally.

Talking about how would one determine if a source is trustworthy, Zuckerberg said that tey considered making the decision themselves or seeking outside help such as experts, but neither of these solutions could be considered truly objective, and so their solution would be to crowdsource opinions of their users. The users will determine which outlets are reliable via surveys.

The effort could have a large effect on news publishers, many of which are already anxious that Facebook has cut their access to Facebook users.

In what seems to be Facebook's manifesto for 2018, Zuckerberg had said the topnotch social media firm "has a lot of work to do" in the New Year, and that Facebook plans major changes to news feed from media and businesses to focus on personal interactions.

News Corp owner of the New York Post and other outlets, responded to the earlier Facebook announcement with a pledge to look for "any signs that the weighting of news sites is politically motivated".

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