The Facebook has begun to reduces the political content in the News Feed Since yesterday. This move, first reported by Axios, was tested on USA, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia earlier this year. Facebook plans to extends political content removal tests in the News Feed, in Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain and Ireland.
According to a statement from a company representative at Engadget: “These changes come in response to feedback from our community. We conduct continuous research with people to hear which parts of Facebook work well for them and collect feedback on what we could do better. One of the things we've heard is that some people think it exists excessive political content in the News Feed their“. Facebook hopes that these changes will please users, while at the same time it will be possible to find political content.
These changes could reduce the level of misinformation on Facebook, if algorithms are able to effectively detect and control all political content. The policies campaigns they may need to rethink their strategies on how to reach out to voters. On the other hand, restricting political content from the Facebook News Feed could constitute a blow to news organizations, especially those focused on politics. Many users visit sites via Facebook. If political articles do not appear there, the sites may lose many readers.
This change in the News Feed, however, could make Facebook one less hostile place for users. Political debates can cause divisions and tensions, which can alienate users who choose the platform to communicate with friends and upload photos. In addition, Facebook had said in November that political content is only 6% of what users see.
"We learned that these changes (restriction of political content) will have a broader impact on the content of public affairs and that publishers may have an impact on their traffic.", Said Facebook. "Knowing this, we are planning a gradual and methodical approach to these tests, but we expect to announce further extensions in the coming months.".