There was another change that CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted in a post last week. Facebook would show news content from high-quality, trustworthy sources. And rather than taking the help of some expert or AI-powered system, Facebook would go the old-school way and conduct public surveys.
“This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook. It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The survey would ask users whether they’re familiar with the news source and if they trust the source or not. The goal is to figure out the fact whether a news source is trusted by its followers and regular readers only, or the source is considered trustworthy by other people also.
BuzzFeed has obtained a copy of the two-question survey that Facebook would put in front of the people. A Facebook spokesperson told the publication that this is the only version of the survey they’re using.
- Do you recognize the following websites? (Choices: Yes or No)
- How much do you trust each of these domains? (Choices: Entirely, A lot, Somewhat, Barely, Not at all)
It turns out, the survey is one of the fake-news fighting efforts that Facebook is trying to implement. But a question to be asked here is would it be a well-thought decision to rely on crowd-funded data sourced from a platform used to affect US elections and which is also a frequent launchpad for fake news.
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Moreover, the simplicity of the survey has sparked negative comments and some supporting ones.
“I’ve filled more robust surveys at fast food restaurants,” tweeted Rani Molla of Recode.
In Facebook’s defense their News Feed head Adam Mosseri said that the survey data is only applicable to the publishers for which Facebook has enough data, “it doesn’t yet affect most publishers.”
“We are not just valuing more publishers that a lot of people trust, but rather valuing more publishers that a lot of different types of people (based on reading habits) trust,” he said in a tweet. But he did agree to the fact that a better more detailed explanation was needed.
“I understand that some people may balk at how simple a survey is, but complicated surveys can be confusing and bias signal, and meaningful patterns can emerge from broad surveys,” Mosseri said while replying to another tweet.