Thursday, 03 May 2018 06:36

Facebook to rank news sources by 'trustworthiness'

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Social media giant Facebook says it will classify news sources by their "trustworthiness", telling a select group of well-known media outlets that data from users would be used to grade various new brands.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement at the company's annual F8 developer conference.

The website Buzzfeed  quoted Zuckerberg as saying: “We put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time.

"We feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarisation and find common ground.”

Facebook has come under pressure from the US Government in the wake of reports that fake news reports were rampant on the platform during the US presidential election in 2016.

Adding fuel to the fire, the company was embroiled in a data leak scandal recently, with the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica found to have obtained personal details of millions of users during its work for Donald Trump's election campaign.

Zuckerberg was made to appear before Congress on two days last month to answer questions about the data leak.

The media outlets invited to Zuckerberg's announcement included BuzzFeed News, The Information, Quartz, The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, NBC, Recode, Univision, Barron’s, the Daily Beast, The Economist, the Huffington Post, Insider, The Atlantic, the New York Post, and others.

Only two of these organisations are considered to lean towards the right: The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, both publications owned by News Corporation.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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