Facebook constantly conducts a myriad of experiments into how it delivers content to users. Like all experiments, they can have unintended consequences.
Misleading news and scams
The change to the News Feed is intended to prevent misleading articles and scams being propagated on Facebook. Facebook faces a constant battle to help users deal with the sheer volume of posts and messages and this is where the vast majority of its experiments are focused.
Facebook issued a statement about the tweak to the Facebook algorithm:
“Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.”
One person’s hoax is another’s satire
The filter depends on user’s labelling stories as misleading. Presumably it would require a number of people to tag the content before its ‘distribution was reduced’. However, it’s easy to see how this might impact on the satirist’s art and – ultimately – on free speech. Though, of course, as a digital marketer I know that nothing is free on Facebook any more…
Read the whole article over on Fast Company
[Image credit: Bulwark Exterminating]