It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news

Aurich / Thinkstock213In the wake of the US election, critics have blamed Facebook for bringing about—at least in part—Trump’s surprise win. A BuzzFeed report showed that Facebook users interacted far more with “fake news” stories about both candidates than they did with mainstream news outlets before the election. This wouldn’t seem like such a big deal if it weren’t for a Pew Research Center survey showing that 44% of Americans rely on Facebook to get all their news.But proving whether fake news influenced the election more than the usual political propaganda is impossible. What’s certain is that fake news on Facebook is a symptom of a larger problem: the company is trying to play contradictory roles as both trustworthy news publisher and fun social media platform for personal sharing. The problem is that it cannot be both—at least not without making some changes.Facebook shapes people’s perceptionsWhen you log into your Facebook account, your default page is dominated by a cascading “news feed,” automatically selected for your pleasure, which consists of whatever your friends have shared. The company uses a mix of secret-sauce algorithms to choose which pieces of news you see. Some items are displayed based on what you’ve responded to before. For example, if you always like or reply to news from Trevor but ignore news from Mike, you’re going to see more Trevor and less Mike.Other news that Facebook thinks you probably want to see is fed to you based on your profile. The Wall Street Journal has an incredible infographic on this, showing how Democrats on Facebook see liberal-leaning stories and Republicans see conservative-leaning ones.

Source: It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news | Ars Technica

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2 thoughts on “It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news

  1. Pingback: It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news | Brittius

  2. Reblogged this on The Grey Enigma.

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