(London Guardian) Facebook will end an experiment that removed professional news posts from users’ News Feed in six countries, after months of criticism that the “downright Orwellian” move was increasing fake news and misinformation on the platform.
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed, said in a blogpost announcing the change that the experiment had been motivated by “consistent feedback” that people wanted to see more from friends and family and less from media organizations and businesses on the News Feed. Starting in October, the company created a separate feed called “Explore” for so-called public posts in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Serbia and Slovakia.
The backlash from news organizations in the affected countries was swift. “Facebook doesn’t think about consequences and has no interest at all in what is happening inside its test countries,” wrote the Slovakian journalist Filip Struhárik, one of the most prominent critics of the experiment. In December, Struhárik used CrowdTangle data to show that the experiment was hurting professional media more than fake news.