There’s a new development in Facebook’s ongoing saga to clean up the news feed of fake news and poor quality content. Through a recent post on his own page, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed intent in further promoting local news from “trusted sources”.
Local publishers are considered as those with “links clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area.” Mark Zuckerberg believes having Facebook users be made more aware of what’s happening in their own communities can encourage them to be more involved and “make a difference” through civic engagement as a result.
As stated in Facebook Newsroom, “There are no constraints on which publishers are eligible, which means large local publishers will benefit, as well as publishers that focus on niche topics like local sports, arts and human-interest stories. That said, small news outlets may benefit from this change more than other outlets, because they tend to have a concentrated readership in one location.”
Meanwhile, users concerned with how it may affect the content they like may use the “See First” feature to make sure they have their favorite pages show up in their news feed. They can also share the content from those pages with their friends and family to help make them more credible.
How good or bad these changes are for Facebook users, we still have yet to fully figure out over time. Big publishers certainly don’t benefit from them, especially since every change to Facebook’s algorithm almost always messes up their marketing strategies and eats away at their online influence.
However, this is something Facebook has to do in order to gain trust from regulators, investors, and users who are concerned about the quality and authenticity of the content they consume in their News Feed.
According to Facebook, implementation of this emphasis on local news is now being rolled out in the United States. It will be applied for other countries around the world later this year.