Facebook Tweaks News Ranking, Prioritizes Original Material

Facebook changed the way it ranks stories in its news feed to prioritize original reporting and stories with transparent authorship, a media report says.
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Facebook  (FB) - Get Report changed the way it ranks stories in its News Feed to prioritize original reporting and stories with transparent authorship, a media report says.

The Menlo Park, Calif., social-platform titan “has long been criticized for not doing enough to elevate quality news over hyperpartisan noise. Now, it's trying to get ahead of that narrative as the 2020 election inches closer,” Axios reported, citing Facebook executives.

Facebook officials said the company will deploy artificial intelligence to determine which stories have the most original reporting.

Facebook users’ news feeds won’t change much, according to Axios. Facebook will still highlight only stories from outlets that they or their friends follow. It’s just that original stories will get lifted in that universe.

The algorithm will change only for news stories, not opinion pieces.

The new policy exemplifies the shift at both Facebook and Alphabet's Google  (GOOGL) - Get Report to original, in-depth journalism from short, superficial content, Axios notes.

Google last year changed its algorithms to boost original reporting.

Facebook shares have slumped in recent days, as more than 150 companies have decided to avoid advertising on the platform, at least in July, unless the company does more to eradicate hate speech and misinformation on its platform.

One of them is coffee-bar giant Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Report, which said in a Monday statement: "We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and we stand against hate speech. We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities.”

Facebook shares recently stood at $222.52, up 0.9%. The stock has dropped 9% in the past week.