Facebook has announced that it will begin ranking news outlets based on how trusted they are by its users. Those outlets that rank higher will get priority in their positioning on users’ news feeds. The move is meant to decrease the level of “sensationalism, misinformation and polarization” in the media, the company said.
Facebook has already begun surveying its users on their familiarity with certain outlets and how trustworthy they find them. Eventually the platform will expand its criteria to include characteristics such as “informative” and “local.”
The company warned that outlets that score low on their new scale may see their positions on news feeds change. “This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.”
Last week the company announced that its algorithm – the formula the company uses to decide what content to show its users – was going to begin prioritizing posts from friends and family that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” Users, the company said, could expect to see fewer posts from businesses, brands and media, in their news feeds in the future.