Facebook continues to clamp down on fake news after revealing that it has tweaked the algorithm for its news feed so that content spammed by certain accounts is relegated further down users’ home pages.
In a new announcement on Friday, Facebook’s Vice President of Product for News Feed, Adam Mosseri, said that recent research by the social giant shows that people who post more than 50 articles each are generally sharing lower-quality content, and the latest move will ensure that more relevant videos and news takes a greater precedence in users’ feeds.
“As a result, we want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritise the links they share more frequently than regular sharers,” Mosseri said. “Of course, this is only one signal among many others that may affect the ranking prioritisation of this type of post. This update will only apply to links, such as an individual article, not to domains, Pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates.”
Fake news has become a huge challenge for the tech industry’s major players since last November, when it was cited as a factor in the US Presidential Election. Facebook has attempted to reign in fake content since then with fact checkers, algorithm tweaks, fake news flags and other tools, though its influence across the Web doesn’t appear to be diminishing.
Mosseri added that prolific posters on Facebook often share content that contains misinformation and can be deemed sensationalist and clickbait. He also claimed that the latest update underlines Facebook’s commitment to delivering worthwhile content to its two billion monthly users.
Reports late last week also suggested that Twitter is thinking about introducing a new feature that allows users to flag tweets that they believe are either inaccurate or false as it also attempts to curb the spread of misinformation. A similar tool was launched by Facebook in December last year.
Twitter has previously been wary of such a feature, as it could potentially be used to “game the system,” though users on the platform can already report individual tweets that are harmful or abusive. The desire to eliminate fake news is a pressing issue, though, as research by Oxford University found that both Twitter and Facebook have been key outlets for third parties attempting to manipulate public opinions in recent elections across the globe.