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Facebook to concentrate on original reporting, transparent authorship after advertisers boycott

Facebook will boost the news articles or content which has the most originality for them to get more distribution.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 3, 2020 | Updated 06:54 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Facebook will prioritise and boost original news content on the platform.
  • Facebook will check the transparency of the editorial staff on the publisher’s website.
  • The move comes shortly after hundreds of advertisers boycotted Facebook as part of the "Stop Hate for for profit" movement.

Facebook has announced that it will prioritise original content to be posted on the platform. It will also check the transparency of the editorial staff to ensure credibility and authenticity of the content on the platform. This will be exclusive to news content.

This move comes shortly after hundreds of advertisers including Starbucks, Coca Cola and Levi Strauss boycotted Facebook as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" movement.

Campbell Brown, VP, Global News Partnerships and Jon Levin, Product Manager in a blog post wrote, "Today, we're updating the way news stories are ranked in News Feed to prioritize original reporting and stories with transparent authorship."

This will be achieved by Facebook's team by prioritising articles in News Feed that they identify as original reporting on a developing story or topic.

"We do this by looking at groups of articles on a particular story topic and identifying the ones most often cited as the original source. We'll start by identifying original reporting in English language news and will do the same for news in other languages in the future," Brown and Levin noted.

They further noted that Facebook will boost the news articles or content which has the most originality to get more distribution. "Most of the news stories people see in News Feed are from sources they or their friends follow, and that won't change. When multiple stories are shared by publishers and are available in a person's News Feed, we will boost the more original one which will help it get more distribution," Brown and Levin wrote.

To check the authenticity and credibility of the news content being posted on the platform, Facebook will check the transparency of the editorial staff. For this purpose, Facebook will review news articles for bylines or a staff page on the publisher's website that lists the first and last names of reporters or other editorial staff.

"We've found that publishers who do not include this information often lack credibility to readers and produce content with clickbait or ad farms, all content people tell us they don't want to see on Facebook," Brown and Levin noted.

Earlier this week, Facebook said that it will flag all "newsworthy" posts from politicians that break its rules, including those from President Donald Trump. The social media giant was criticised for not taking any action for the US president's posts that reportedly incited violence.

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