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Facebook users to decide which news sources are trustworthy

22 Jan 2018  |  Ellen Hammett 
Facebook users to decide which news sources are trustworthy

In an effort to crack down on fake news and clickbait, Facebook will begin prioritising news that its users think is 'trustworthy'.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the social network's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had decided that having users determine which sources are broadly trusted would be "most objective" - and so from this week, starting in the US with an international roll-out planned in due course, Facebook will start asking people whether they are familiar with a news source and whether they trust it.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg said.

"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. That's why it's important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground."

Zuckerberg said the update will not change the amount of news users see on Facebook, but that it will "shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community".

It is the second major update to Facebook's News Feed this month, with the platform also set to start prioritising content from friends, family and groups over those from businesses, brands and publishers.

The announcement also comes as the latest Edelman Trust barometer reveals that just 24% of the UK population trusts the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when looking for news and information. Meanwhile, support for traditional media rose to 61% - the highest score since 2012.

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