After the 2016 Facebook fake news debacle, Facebook is now trying to redeem itself.
Remember how Facebook made millions of dollars in ad revenue in 2016 when it allowed troll farms in Russia and other places to bombard people with ads sporting fake news? Now Facebook is changing its algorithm to demote news and show more posts from family and friends to promote “meaningful social interactions”.
I shouldn’t be all grumpy about this – only wth, Facebook? After years of giving up seeing my friends’ news in all that clutter of ads, fake news, real news, NOW you want me to see my friends’ baby photos again and know when mom went to Costco’s?
If you think, well done, Facebook, for taking the fake news and meddling with elections accusations seriously, don’t be fooled.
This news feed algorithm update will further feed Facebook’s ad revenue as businesses, brands, and media posts (fake or real) will be demoted, so these companies will now have to spend more ad dollars to get in front of people. And guess who benefits from that?
The cherry on the top though is that Facebook – in an attempt to be all democratic – is asking its users to rank news publshers for trustworthiness and use that user ranking in their algorithm. Yes, you read this right: Facebook is asking the same people who can’t distinguish between fake and real news to rank news publishers for trustworthiness.
We are all going down. Let’s try SnapChat again maybe?
If Facebook really wants to help change the world for the better, it needs to accept that it is in fact a media company and abide by the same rules as media companies have to. Yes, media companies are very heavily regulated, but there is a reason for this. It is to have measures in place to protect the interest of the public, for example by guarding off fake news. Facebook should be regulated just like other media companies. That would be a step into the right direction to combat fake news.