September 22, 2021

Facebook Expected to De-Emphasize Political News

Facebook is expected to downplay political posts and current events content in its news feed section, Axios is reporting.

The material will be de-emphasized based on negative user feedback, according to the outlet.

Those looking to spread misinformation are likely to exploit breaking news in the section since it is difficult to fact-check as it occurs, Axios noted.

Facebook is expected to begin placing a greater emphasis on other types of user feedback – like survey responses.

The social media giant is expected to announce it will begin tests to limit the political content in several countries, including Costa Rica, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden.

The company had started tests earlier this year to limit political content in news feeds in the U.S., Brazil, and Canada, according to Axios.

Feedback from users showed they liked the change, which could eventually reduce traffic to some news publishers.

The changes are expected to roll out gradually. It appears likely that Facebook will expand its tests to additional countries.

Word of the changes came after it was learned Facebook is considering forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Times said Facebook has approached academics and policy experts about a proposed commission that would allow the social media platform to shift some of its political decision-making to an advisory body.

The proposed commission could decide on matters such as what to do about election-related misinformation, and the viability of political ads, the Times’ sources said.

Facebook is expected to announce the formation of the commission this fall in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections.


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