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Facebook To Prioritize “Trustworthy” News

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(Via Zerohedge)

In a move that is set to infuriate news organizations that are not deemed “trustworthy”, Facebook is set to introduce “sweeping changes” to its newsfeed as early as next week, prioritizing trustworthy sites and removing “clickbait” and low quality news publishers, while promoting posts from friends and family, the WSJ reports.


Under its new approach, Facebook would evaluate parameters such as public polling about news outlets, and whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers. Such variables would inform its algorithm that determines which publishers’ posts are pushed higher in the feed, one of the people said.


It is not known how Facebook will decide which publications are deemed trustworthy.


The move would thrust Facebook into an even more active role in deciding what content is acceptable on its site, in other words censoring content it deems inappropriate while promoting news outlets that are ideologically aligned with the organization.
Ironically, the newsfeed overhaul is also said to be “an attempt to encourage more sharing and personal connecting, amid a backlash with many people worrying about social media sucking up time and damaging users’ mental health” according to the FT.


In reality, it will only succeed in further alienating an already deeply polarized American population.


Yet while it remains to be seen what impact on Facebook, or Zuckerberg’s 2020 presidential ambitions, this latest foray into censorship has, the biggest losers are clear.


Last year, the company tested separating friends and family posts from those posted by businesses and publishers. It created a tab called “Explore” for those other posts in six countries including Sri Lanka, Slovakia and Cambodia. What happened next? Publishers in those countries complained that traffic fell dramatically.


At the time, Adam Mosseri, head of newsfeed, said Facebook currently had no plans to roll this test out further in other countries and said it was unfortunate that some had “mistakenly made that interpretation.” It now appears that this “test” is about to applied to everyone.


While the WSJ writes that Facebook hasn’t decided whether to proceed with the shift, and it may choose not to do so, the FT disagrees and reports that the world’s largest social network will unveil the change imminently, according to people briefed on the plans, hoping to differentiate between salacious content and quality news. “Zuckerberg has finally realized that not all news is equal,” said one publisher – clearly on the promoted sight of “equal” – briefed on the plans.


While Facebook will try to make the newsfeed a place for personal sharing and in-depth discussions – similar to Snapchat – and move other content from pages and publishers to a separate space within the app, the move is widely expected to infuriate news organizations which are not deemed trustworthy or high quality by the site.


Meanwhile, the change to the algorithm is sure to have a dramatic impact – whether positive or negative – on the revenue of virtually all news organization who now rely almost exclusively on facebook for inbound traffic referral.


Publishers have become increasingly reliant on Facebook as more and more news is consumed on the app. They may see traffic drop if they are moved to an area of the app which users end up not visiting.


Why now? The dramatic change comes after Mark Zuckerberg set a goal for the year to focus on fixing the important issues about Facebook’s role in the world.

“Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

While the transformation is seen as an attempt to increase trust in the social app, which has suffered from a reputation for fake news since the 2016 US presidential election, it will likely backfire: in December, FaceBook ditched its first attempt at soft censorship when it removed its “fake news flag” when it found that people shared the flagged articles even more.

Ironically, the newsfeed overhaul is also said to be “an attempt to encourage more sharing and personal connecting, amid a backlash with many people worrying about social media sucking up time and damaging users’ mental health” according to the FT.


In reality, it will only succeed in further alienating an already deeply polarized American population.


Yet while it remains to be seen what impact on Facebook, or Zuckerberg’s 2020 presidential ambitions, this latest foray into censorship has, the biggest losers are clear.

Last year, the company tested separating friends and family posts from those posted by businesses and publishers. It created a tab called “Explore” for those other posts in six countries including Sri Lanka, Slovakia and Cambodia. What happened next? Publishers in those countries complained that traffic fell dramatically.

At the time, Adam Mosseri, head of newsfeed, said Facebook currently had no plans to roll this test out further in other countries and said it was unfortunate that some had “mistakenly made that interpretation.” It now appears that this “test” is about to applied to everyone.

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Business

Soros Newest Investor Of Tesla Bonds

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Tesla looks to have a new bond holder and it’s none other than George Soros. Whatever this mean, Soros has also taken a stake in Crypto-Currencies .

Zerohedge Reports: Amid Elon Musk’s darkest hour in late March – as his stocks and bonds tumbled in price – it seems there was at least one other billionaire willing to buy the ‘blood on the street’.

According to the latest 13Fs, George Soros’ investment firm took a $35 million stake in Tesla’s convertible bonds during the first three months of the year.

As a reminder, convertibles are hybrid securities, either bonds or preferred stock, that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of common shares. That effectively lets an investor participate in stock-price changes, but with the yield and greater security of a fixed-income instrument.

The March 2019 Converts bounced handsomely off those lows – tracking the stock’s divergent bounce – but in recent days has fallen back towards the lows, catching down to the straight bonds record low price.

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Business

“Racial Bias Education Day” To Close Down Starbucks Nationwide

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Starbucks is going to the illogical extreme by taking an entire day to put their employees through what they call “Racial Bias Education Day”. Coming after a viral videos showed two men being arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Starbucks almost instantly gave into calls to do ‘something’ but will this really fix anything in a culture where ‘racism’ is more of a political talking point than an actual substantive conversation or debate.

CNBC Reports: Starbucks said Tuesday it will be closing all of its company-owned restaurants in the U.S. during the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education program.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, said in a statement Tuesday. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

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Soros Now Investing In Crypto-Currencies

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(Via Zerohedge)
By TD


After a historic drop in cryptocurrency prices in the first quarter, one which deflated much of the euphoria that surrounded the sector in late 2017 and the start of this year, the space is about to get exciting again because none other than 87-year-old billionaire George Soros is reportedly preparing to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge.

According to Bloomberg, Adam Fisher -who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management – has received internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, “though he has yet to make a wager.”

The question, of course, is whether Bloomberg’s leak is accurate, and if indeed Soros is only now getting started in the space or if he has quietly loaded up already.

What is ironic, is that just three months ago when speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros said digital coins cannot function as actual currencies because of their volatility, “but he didn’t predict the hard tumble that some observers had forecast at the time.”

“As long as you have dictatorships on the rise you will have a different ending, because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad,” Soros, 87, said on Jan. 25.

With Bitcoin tumbling below $7000 recently…

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