Facebook is widening its initiatives to develop the News Feed less political
1st Sept, 2021
Facebook is expanding a test that aims to reduce the amount of political content in the News Feed. The company says it's experienced "good results" in decreasing this content for some users in a few regions, according to an update to a February blog post. Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, and Ireland are now part of a test of the strategy.
Before the announcement, Axios reported on Facebook's plans. Facebook's new test also entails modifying the signals it prioritises when pushing material, according to the report. Product management director Aastha Gupta adds, "Some engagement signals can better suggest what content individuals find more important than others." “We're gradually expanding some testing based on that input to put less focus on signals like how likely someone is to comment on or share political content.”
Facebook, on the other hand, will place a greater emphasis on indicators such as "how likely people are to provide us with unfavourable feedback on posts regarding political themes and current events." The business understands that this could have an impact on “public affairs content” and traffic to news publishers, and it plans to roll out these tests in a “gradual and deliberate rollout” over the following months.
Outsiders can only measure a few engagement signals, like as commenting and sharing, and they've overwhelmingly suggested that political (and mostly right-wing) content dominates people's interactions on the platform. However, Facebook has rejected this framing, claiming that political information is unrelated to most people's lives and accounts for barely 6% of the average news feed. It appears that it is now attempting to incorporate that mindset more directly into the stream.