Facebook wants to inspire people with inspirational stories rather than making them having strange political views. In this effort, the social media giant has announced yesterday that it has adjusted its News Feed feature. The adjusted feature will add content that users like instead of the content that annoys them. At the end of March this year, Facebook began to introduce filters that allow users to customize their own information flow.
According to The Verge, Now, the company wants to learn more about what users like and dislike, and it seems to be paying particular attention to shifting from political content to “inspirational stories.”
Because it has contributed to the political divisions in the United States and even played an excessive role in the election, Facebook has been closely watched. Facebook’s influence on these two issues is largely due to false information spread on the platform. This issue seems to be directly related to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s active stance and support for the replacement of Article 230 of the Communications Standards Act in 2020. Facebook hasn’t given a specific alternative it supports, but it generally prefers the government to have more control over the easing of inflammatory speech on the Internet.
It is understood that Facebook plans to conduct surveys of users to see which posts are inspiring for them, and then adjust the way they rank content on the News Feed. According to Facebook, users want inspiring content because it inspires them and is useful to them outside of Facebook. This is of course a good idea, but who or what can inspire people is not the same.
But as Facebook said in its original blog post, “a picture of a national park can inspire people to spend more time in nature”, but it’s not hard to imagine other more controversial photos and posts. Will be given a similar “inspiring” rating by some users.
Facebook also said that it will ask users which topics they are not interested in so that it can show them other posts related to their interests. The company also stated that they are also testing a simpler method of deleting posts that users may not want to see by adding a small “X” to the upper right corner of the post
None of these changes sound like they will really help change Facebook’s habit of making users radical. If there is any difference, it depends on the weight of these answers by News Feed, which may lead people to any potentially dangerous rabbit holes they are already exploring.
Although this plan seems very vague, it is generally a good thing to attract users through their likes and dislikes of News Feed. For a long time, Facebook seems to have been focusing on maintaining and increasing user engagement, at the cost of providing people with a healthy environment for talking with family and friends. This method of investigation is a small step in the right direction, but it first relies on the actual participation of people, so this cannot be guaranteed.
Despite some progress, Facebook’s progress in making major changes on its platform still seems to be very slow. After the US election, the company made major adjustments to News Feed to promote the development of authoritative news sources, but only temporarily. Relying on investigations and hiding their department’s problems rather than solving them directly can feel like a step backwards.
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