Facebook is planning to purge political content from the News Feed of users. The news comes after criticism of the platform's long-standing failures to stomp out misinformation on the social media website.
Starting today, the sweeping changes will commence across multiple countries including the US, Canada, Sweden and more. In a statement to Engadget, Facebook revealed that it will be ready expanding the changes steadily.
Facebook kills political content
The social media platform states that the new changes come after “common feedback” to the service. Coincidentally, they also come after constant controversy regarding Facebook's inability to moderate misinformation and hate speech. The company said:
“We conduct ongoing research with people to hear what parts of Facebook are working well for them, and to gather feedback about what we could be doing better. One of the themes we’ve heard is that some people feel that there’s too much political content in their News Feeds. We hope these changes address this feedback and preserve the ability for people to find and interact with political content on Facebook, while respecting their appetite for it at the top of their News Feed.”
Furthermore, the platform will be changing how political content ranks within the News Feed. Negative feedback on posts will result in them being sent out less to users’ News Feeds. However, the platform hasn’t explained whether its heavy right-wing audience will skewer engagement traffic.
The battle against misinformation
Facebook’s political sphere oozes misinformation. A recent study proved that the platform still spreads dangerous misinformation regarding events such as the Holocaust. Despite Zuckerberg himself being trialed for the platform's misinformation and spread of white supremacist content, the platform hasn’t changed.
This move to reduce political content on the social media platform is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it should limit a percentage of misinformation on the platform. On the other hand, it could lead to some users being less informed about real, dangerous news.
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