Facebook Puts Original News Reporting In Focus

Facebook Puts Original News Reporting In Focus

Facebook will prioritise original news content and transparent authorship as part of its latest algorithm change.

Previously, Facebook would prioritise news content that had received heavy engagement.

Making the announcement overnight, Facebook VP of global news partnerships Campbell Brown and product manager Jon Levin said the changes were about ensuring users can access credible and informative news content.

“Original reporting plays an important role in informing people around the world, from breaking a news story, to creating an in-depth investigative report, uncovering new facts and data, sharing critical updates in times of crisis, or broadcasting eyewitness reports,” they said.

“This important journalism takes time and expertise, and we want to ensure that it’s prioritized on Facebook.

“We will now prioritize articles in News Feed that we identify as original reporting on a developing story or topic.”

This will be done by looking at groups of articles on a certain story and identifying what has been cited as the original source most often.

Facebook will continue to show users news stories from sources they or their friends follow, but will boost “the more original” stories where possible.

As part of the announcement, Facebook also said it will demote news content that does not have “transparent information about the publisher’s editorial staff”.

“We 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,” said Brown and Levin.

“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.”

This change will only be introduced in certain markets initially.

Facebook has also announced this week a new education campaign across the EMEA region to help users identify fake news on the platform.

“We want to give people the tools to make informed decisions about the information they see online and where it comes from,” Facebook said.

“To support this effort, over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out a new campaign in countries across EMEA to educate and inform people about how to detect potential false news.”

The campaign urges users to ensure they check stories have a source and read beyond the headline before sharing.

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