We just learned that Facebook plans to dramatically change the way people receive their favorite news via the social media’s news-feed feature by allowing users to rank their news-sources. In theory, it doesn’t sound bad at all, i.e. Facebook is trying to fight fake news outlets (like CNN maybe?) consulting the users about the respective news outlets trustworthiness.
Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Friday:
“We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective. There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. The hard question we’ve struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division.”
That begs the question: since when is Facebook’s business to decide what the average user reads or from where gets his/her information ? Facebook is suppose to be a social media platform, a free market of sorts, where people meet other people and share information. Who died and made Zuckerberg censor in chief? This is not his business. Facebook’s CEO went further:
“This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook. It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.”
The next question: what “community”? Snopes or other ultra-progressive-left wing organization? Facebook ranking “fake news” is an oxymoron. If Facebook is serious about letting users to determine which news source they trust, the already have the perfect system for that: like/follow. Basically, you let people vote with their likes/traffic. But no, Facebook will now go on a frenzy, de-ranking non-mainstream news websites based on an occult user-survey so-called system, which will supposedly discover “broadly trusted” outlets. You see where this is going, right? Here’s Lord Zucc again:
We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective. Here’s how this will work. As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly. (We eliminate from the sample those who aren’t familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)
What this really means is that Facebook doesn’t care what you like; also, they consider you stupid, and obviously you need to be force-fed “quality journalism” (like NYT or WAPO) instead of being free to choose the websites you like.