Facebook Backtracks on Changes That Prioritized Mainstream Media and Censored Other Sources

Photo by Austin Distel via Unsplash

Facebook Backtracks on Changes That Prioritized Mainstream Media and Censored Other Sources

By Movieguide® Staff

Facebook recently reduced its changes in its News Feed algorithm that promoted mainstream media news coverage and censored what the company deemed as non-mainstream media.

Facebook claimed the changes came to help reduce misinformation in the aftermath of the US election. 

The New York Times reported that the company made an emergency adjustment to mitigate the onslaught of “Election-related misinformation” at the time of the election. 

According to the New York Times, Facebook increased the weight of its internal value called NEQ (news ecosystem quality), which works to evaluate the value and thoroughness of an outlet’s journalism. 

“The change was part of the ‘break glass plans’ Facebook had spent months developing for the aftermath of a contested election. It resulted in a spike in visibility for big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR, while posts from highly engaged hyperpartisan pages, such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats, became less visible, the employees said,” according to the Times’ article. 

“This was a temporary change we made to help limit the spread of inaccurate claims about the election,” Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, told the Times. “We’re still ensuring that people see authoritative and informative news on Facebook, especially during major news cycles and around important global topics like elections, COVID-19 and climate change.” 

However, the algorithm change was not the only way Facebook ensured that the “misinformation” was censored. Before the vote, Facebook added warnings to over 180 million posts that they claimed were spreading misinformation. Facebook also removed 265,000 posts that they said broke Facebook’s rules against voter interference. 

While Facebook’s decision to ease up on their control of the News Feed is a step in the right direction, Movieguide® recently reported on the dangers of Big Tech controlling and censoring information: 

These companies have incredible power to not only influence culture, but to bend truth. They’ve already begun their attacks on us and many other faith-based companies. Some of us are able to fight back, many are not. That’s why we need our audiences to understand the threat, not only to us as a ministry, but to the future of free access to information, and the future of our country!