We have a seen a lot of tweaks from Facebook to improve its news feed and overall algorithms to tackle miscreants. The company has tried to reduce clickbait articles and get relevant news on your feed so that you don’t get lost in the clutter.
Today, Facebook has announced another miniscule but relevant change to your news feed. This tweak will allow you to see more authentic and timely stories, so that at the end of the day you have caught up with your friends and loved ones.
In simple words, the developers at Facebook have incorporated new signals to better identify and rank authentic content, so that it is displayed over other irrelevant content. The algorithm also predicts and ranks in real-time when posts are relevant to you.
From the time Donald Trump was chosen as the President of the United States, users have been claiming that false news has been circulating on the internet, affecting the voters. Such click-bait and misleading news has always been a concern for the company, for which it has taken the first step.
The new algorithm will look at new signals to identify authentic content. When ranking news feed, Facebook looks at many signals personal to you, such as how close you are to the person or page posting, as well as more universal signals like the overall engagement (likes, comments, shares) that a post has.
The blog post by Akos Lada, Research Scientist, James Li, Research Scientist, and Shilin Ding, Engineering Manager mentions the following, “With this update, we’re adding new universal signals to determine whether a post might be authentic. To do this, we categorized Pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam or trying to game feed by doing things like asking for likes, comments or shares. We then used posts from these Pages to train a model that continuously identifies whether posts from other Pages are likely to be authentic.”
The company will also show you real-time news that may be relevant for you, by looking at comments, tags and likes on it. If someone in your friend list has liked the post, tagged you in it or just commented, and a lot of other users are doing the same then it will promote that post on your news feed.
Will it be able to segregate misleading news from relevant news?
Facebook wants to ensure that pages that have been created for a specific purpose should follow the same. A page on football should not be posting irrelevant news about an attack in a developing country. There are news pages for that and these will automatically get promoted.
In this clickbait era, it is difficult to differentiate genuine articles from clickbait articles, but a user’s reaction to it in real-time can definitely be worthy to other individuals. Machine Learning plays a huge role in understanding user data and modifying its model to get the most relevant articles to you.
Page owners might see a slight decrease in traffic on their page but it shouldn’t be a concern as long as you stick to your topic and do not spread false information. Facebook users will be able to see a cleaner news feed from today with more genuine posts.