Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook’s Trending Stories Versus Clickbait

Joseph Lichterman, Nieman Lab:

Facebook — and its algorithm — are extremely powerful and exert huge amounts of control over what type of news coverage a significant number of its users see. So what does it mean when it’s promoting blatantly false news and clickbait aggregation? How can legitimate news outlets operate in this environment when they are becoming increasingly reliant on Facebook? Do users even care that they’re being fed stories from sites of ill repute?

It was just a few weeks ago that Facebook tweaked their News Feed algorithm to reduce clickbait; just a few weeks prior to that, they also made an adjustment to show more stories from friends and fewer from publishers. Now, there’s fake news and clickbait appearing algorithmically in Trending Stories. Despite the two features sitting side-by-side, it almost feels like they’re not even built by the same company.