“Disruptive, shocking or malicious”
The company says it reviewed hundreds of thousands of web pages that are linked from the platform to evaluate which content has little substance or has an abundance of “disruptive, shocking or malicious” ads. Then, they used artificial intelligence to spot similar pages on the platform.
Once identified to be a low-quality web page, the new News Feed algorithm places the page lower in a user’s feed and disqualifies it from being an ad. It’s essentially a ranking system that creates a hierarchy based on a web page’s quality, sparing users from being bombarded with obnoxious or NSFW ads the moment they head over.
They’ve done this before.
Sound familiar? That’s because Facebook has used this tactic before to tackle clickbait. Last year, the company announced it had analyzed thousands of article headlines to determine whether or not they were clickbait (Think: “How To Lose 95 Pounds In Less Than One Week”). Using this data, they developed a software algorithm that effectively scores web domains and Pages on their clickbait violations and this score determines their status in a News Feed — much like the new algorithm.
“This is one of the first times we’re actually using information from the experience that people will have once they click something to help inform the ranking in News Feed,” product manager Greg Marra told Recode
But how will it affect fake news?
One practical result of this change is how it will affect the prevalence of “fake news” on the social networking site. It’s no secret that Facebook has a fake news problem — the issue was spotlighted amid the 2016 presidential election. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied allegations — he claimed 99 percent of content on the platform is real — our sister site Gizmodo reported the company was aware of the problem and even had access to a tool that could block false content.