Facebook’s Day of Reckoning Has Come…
Increasingly called into question in the wake of Russian interference in the presidential election is whether social media giants can continue to sidestep the FCC when all other media outlets are subject to its regulations. When its infrastructure is used to connect billions of people and mobilize mass movements, accountability does become an issue. This day of reckoning came for Facebook, and in acknowledgment of its own limitations to police content and its disinterest in restricting free speech, they have now indeed announced a complete overhaul of News Feed. Here are the Points:
- Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to fix Facebook, naming it a personal challenge in 2018.
- For years Facebook has intentionally blended the lines between personal status updates, news articles and ads, combining all three in News Feed.
- Now in response to mounting pressure from regulators and public concern that spending too much time on Facebook has negative consequences on mental health, Facebook announced that it is making major changes to News Feed.
- Its algorithm will now prioritize content posted by friends and family higher in News Feed, meaning that users will see fewer posts from publishers, businesses, and celebs they follow.
- These changes are intended to boost meaningful interactions, but are a concern for businesses who have relied on Facebook to push their ads and drive traffic to their websites.
While the announcement of these changes cost Mark $3.3 billion in one day, Facebook is hoping to rebuild its trust in its brand and fulfill its mission to bring people closer together. It remains to be seen whether such changes will substantially impact the spread of misinformation.