Facebook's latest News Feed update will prioritize trustworthy publishers

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Facebook will begin to prioritize "trustworthy" news outlets on its stream of social media posts as it works to combat "sensationalism" and "misinformation", chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday. Ultimately, he said, it will help the company determine what's a broadly trustworthy source and what isn't.

When Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his Personal Challenge for 2018 would be to focus on fixing his company, one of the first public examples of this is the planned changes for the News Feeds.

So instead, there's this: "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".

"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 wrote.

The changes came after Facebook - and the broader tech industry - came under a barrage of criticism over its impact on society, from its role in spreading Russian propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 USA presidential election to its impact on childrens' mental health.

Seeing Zuckerberg make the announcement on his own Facebook page is also significant.

Trustworthiness is based on a recent survey of U.S. Facebook users that gauged their familiarity with, and trust in, different sources of news. While he hasn't gone to Capitol Hill to publicly testify about how his service was abused, he has made it his goal to spend this year "fix " ing issues that have spread on his service like hate and abuse.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expressing optimism that the situation surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be resolved, noting that it is "a basic question of whether our government works". The hyper-partisan nature of political discourse in the U.S. means there's also debate about which news sources are trustworthy, and which are not. Mosseri's blog post did link to the company's "Publisher Principles", which outline what the company believes is meaningful content that will perform well on the platform.

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