Facebook on Tuesday announced several changes to its News Feed to help deliver “more authentic and timely stories” to the social network’s users. In a post, the social media company announced two new updates that it said will allow for a story to be more ranked more appropriately on the News Feed.
The first update will be to implement “new signals” into the Feed to “better identify and rank authentic content”, Facebook said. The company said it had categorised pages to check if they are “posting spam or trying to game [the] feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments or shares”. “We then used posts from these pages to train a model that continuously identifies whether posts from other pages are likely to be authentic,” the post said.
The company said the second update included taking into account real-time engagement to “evaluate the importance of different signals at different times”. “So now if there is a lot of engagement from many people on Facebook about a topic...we can understand in real-time that the topic or page post might be temporarily more important to you.”
In November 2016, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had announced and summarised a number of the steps the social media platform would undertake to stop fake news websites from using its advertising network. The 32-year-old billionaire said the company was trying to improve its technical systems to be able to “classify misinformation” on its own as they “take misinformation seriously”.
His remarks and the subsequent changes to the News Feed come at a time when tech giants, including Facebook and Google, are facing accusations that they helped mislead United States voters by allowing the circulation of incorrect information posted as news. After Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections on November 8, there was widespread speculation that doctored stories affected voters’ decisions.