Sergi Xaudiera

How Facebook is trying to stop its own algorithms from doing their job

Originally published 25 July 2019 by Sergi Xaudiera

Doing good, could mean earning less. Is Facebook ready for a change on its business model?

For example, the company will update its scrolling news feed algorithm by reviewing little-known websites whose articles get sudden surges of traffic on Facebook — a pattern that Facebook says internal tests showed were a red flag for misinformation and clickbait. The new metric does not mean the problematic articles will be taken down, but their traffic will be reduced in news feed, the primary screen Facebook users seen when they open the app.

The question is whether these changes are tweaks on the margins or more fundamental fixes to a service that–while massively profitable–has experienced a precipitous loss of public trust. The newsfeed algorithm alone takes in hundreds of thousands of behavioral signals when it evaluates which posts get promotion — and it’s tough to assess the impact any single fix might have on such a complex system.

★ Elizabeth Dwoskin , The Washington Post