Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum’s conference on fake news in London, Patrick Walker, director of media partnerships, EMEA, Facebook, added that there are over one billion stories posted on Facebook every day.
The Guardian alone posts 60-70 each day, so there are practical reasons for algorithms.
Walker said that Facebook’s News Feed Values, first published last year, are friends and family come first; informative, entertaining and genuine; no favouritism, user controlled; and content iteration, keep informed.
Commenting on fake news, or ‘false news, as Facebook likes to call it, he said that it has been appropriated for political reasons. However, if one took the example of spam, technology will find a way to get rid of it.
However, Matt Rogerson, head of public policy, Guardian Media Group, argued that the change in algorithms that came with the introduction of Facebook’s News Feed values had a major impact on the outcome of last year’s US presidential election. This, in his view, is an issue that still hasn’t been addressed.
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg penned a 6,500 word on his Facebook page in which he outlined the company’s strategy in the age of fake news. In it, he said: “It is our responsibility to amplify the good effects and mitigate the bad – to continue increasing diversity while strengthening our common understanding so our community can create the greatest positive impact on the world”