Must-Read: Jay Rosen: Facebook Backs Off on the View from Nowhere

Must-Read: Jay Rosen: Facebook Backs Off on the View from Nowhere: “Today Facebook released a document it calls: News Feed Values. It’s a start…

…For a long time Facebook wouldn’t even say it had priorities. It would describe you as the editor of News Feed: you, rather than Facebook…. But… we want to know: what are you optimizing for, along with user interest? How do you see your role within a news ecosystem where you are more and more the dominant player? In news, you have power now. It is growing. Help us understand how you intend to use it. What kind of filter will you be? What kind of player… playing for what? The document released today is not a revelation, but it does say a few interesting things. Here is my summary of News Feed’s editorial philosophy:

Your social graph comes first, not the public world. Informing you is a higher priority than entertaining you. But we think ‘information’ comes in many forms, not just serious news. A good recipe for beer can chicken is information to the person who is looking for it. We don’t exclude points of view we don’t like, or favor the sources we do like. We let the invisible hand of user choice make those decisions. Except: We do try to edit out what people find misleading, sensational, spammy–mere click bait. We do police nudity, hate speech, personal abuse, and violent or overly graphic content….

No one should expect Facebook to be a traffic distributor because that is not a priority the company has for its product…. One more thing Facebook says… its committed to the personalization of News Feed as a kind of right that users have. ‘You control your experience.’ I will be worth watching how this rights revolution in news display unfolds…

June 29, 2016


Brad DeLong
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