Facebook is planning to roll out measures to reduce political content on its platform for some of its users, the social media company announced Wednesday.
“As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on our recent earnings call, one common piece of feedback we hear is that people don’t want political content to take over their News Feed,” read a blog post from Aastha Gupta, who is Facebook’s product management director.
“Over the next few months, we’ll work to better understand peoples’ varied preferences for political content and test a number of approaches based on those insights,” Gupta continued, and went on to explain how Facebook is going to reduce the amount of political content in the news feed of its users in Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia this week, followed by the U.S. in the coming weeks.
“During these initial tests we’ll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we’ll use going forward,” said Gupta. “COVID-19 information from authoritative health organizations like the CDC and WHO, as well as national and regional health agencies and services from affected countries, will be exempt from these tests. Content from official government agencies and services will also be exempt.”
“To determine how effective these new approaches are, we’ll survey people about their experience during these tests. It’s important to note that we’re not removing political content from Facebook altogether. Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to find and interact with political content on Facebook, while respecting each person’s appetite for it at the top of their News Feed.”
Gupta claimed that based on analysis Facebook has done, political content only makes up about 6% of what U.S. users see on Facebook, but she conceded that clamping down on political content “can impact someone’s overall experience.” She pointed to various methods Facebook users can implement to better control what shows up in their News Feed. “But we’re always trying to make News Feed better, and this means finding a new balance of the content people want to see,” Gupta said, adding, “As we embark on this work, we’ll share what we learn and the approaches that show the most promise.”
Facebook and other Big Tech companies such as Twitter have faced increasing backlash and accusations of censorship in recent months, especially since former President Donald Trump was banned from several social media platforms.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Sixty percent of battleground voters view Democrats’ latest effort to impeach President Donald Trump as another “waste of time and money” and are seeking an orderly transition of power, a leaked internal memo shows.
These key voters were also found to fear Big Tech censorship, in the wake of the apparently coordinated effort to excommunicate Trump from their platforms and eliminate conservative competitors like Parler.
Related: Key Voters Have Little Appetite For Impeachment, Fear Big Tech Censorship, Internal Memo Shows