Facebook has begun implementing an algorithm that helps it rank news sources by trustworthiness as part of its fight on “fake news”.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told media executives yesterday that the new system will promote posts from news sources with a high ranking while suppressing those with a lower score as part of its bid to prevent the spread of disinformation.
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Buzzfeed reported that Zuckerberg said: “We put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time.
“We feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarisation and find common ground.”
The ranking is based on three measures of trustworthiness: how users interact with news sites, whether they know the news source and whether they trust the information it gives.
Zuckerberg was speaking to representatives from organisations including HuffPost, Buzzfeed News, The Economist and The New York Times at an event called OTR – meaning off the record.
However he agreed to answer some questions on the record, Buzzfeed said.
Zuckerberg also addressed the issue of fake news in his keynote speech at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference earlier in the day.
He said: “We’re hard at work making sure that people don’t misuse this platform.
“In 2016 we were slow to anticipate Russian interference, we expected more traditional cyber-attacks… but we didn’t expect these coordinated information operations and large networks of fake accounts.
“We will never be unprepared for this again,” he said, adding: “We are focused on fighting fake news more broadly.”