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To solve its "fake news" problem, Facebook is asking its users to complete surveys on what they determine is "high quality" news content.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a post on his Facebook page Friday that the company will ask users if they are familiar with a specific news source — and whether they trusted it — in order to help weed out less reliable sources. As a result of the changes, people can expect the level of news in the News Feed to drop from the current 5 percent to 4 percent, Zuckerberg said.
The move is another effort by the company to re-establish trust with the public, after much of that trust was eroded in wake of revelations about Russian interests using the platform to influence the 2016 U.S. election. (The company's image was further tarred by some former high-level employees criticizing the platform, including co-founder Sean Parker saying that the network was specifically built to exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology.)
"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg wrote. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them," he wrote.
Facebook said earlier this month it would be shifting its News Feed algorithms to prioritize "meaningful social interactions." The News Feed is currently designed to prioritize relevant content from friends and family, but now will highlight content that people are likely to comment, view and share regardless if it comes from a peer or a company.
The company added in a blog post it is highlighting content that is trustworthy, informative and relevant to local communities. The survey process will begin in the U.S. and expand globally.