Facebook is going to prioritise 'trusted' news sources decided by users

Tyrone Stewart
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is seeking help from its users in order to decide what news sources are trusted on its platform, and make sure these are the outlets that users see the most of, as it continues its major news feed overhaul.

The social network is going to present users with surveys asking them if they’re familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. These trusted sources – as decided by the community – will be the ones that feature more prominently on the new ‘social’-focused news feed.

“The hard question we've struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post to the social network. “We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we're comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem. Or we could ask you -- the community -- and have your feedback determine the ranking.

“We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.”

Facebook will begin testing ‘Trusted Sources’ this week in the US, based on the survey responses provided by users. It has plans to roll out the update around the world in the future.

This update shouldn’t harm any major publications in any significant way. Those with large followings are always going to have high levels of trust from their loyal readers and subscribers. On the other hand, as is often the case, smaller publications are likely to feel the force of the changes.