Facebook News is here: will you use it?
Facebook announced today it now has a dedicated space just for news, and it's receiving mixed reactions. How do you feel about it? Will you use Facebook's Newsroom to catch up on current affairs?
No way 😐
Still undecided 🤷♂️
Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
Yeesh - interesting timing, Facebook! Given all the negative press they've had recently around spreading misinformation and not regulating political ads this feels kinda icky. I feel like there are tons of credible news sources out there with much clearer incentives and transparent motives for disseminating information objectively and I'd rather go there for news if I'm honest. Facebook makes great products but I wouldn't trust their news to be unbiased, fact checked etc. That said, there are a number of highly intelligent people I know who work at Facebook and whose values I align with. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Curious to see what others think.
Founder @ Foxie, & EJ
I will never go to social media to get news or argue with people. So many better ways to catch up on current affairs. Also, it's interesting. I feel as there's a wave of people who are on facebook and who are not (Younger than 21 are really not on it). Outside of US Facebook is still strong but truly losing value here in the US (5 million users deleted or deactivated their account here)
The problem I have with this is that it doesn’t put me in control of curating my own preferences for information sources. Why do I need to be at the mercy of what some journalist finds newsworthy? I also don’t trust journalists any more than I trust Zuckerberg. They are people. People with bias and motives that are likely counter to my own. I’ll stick to books and Tweets.
Oh what now, Facebook? A Newsroom you say? So 83% for “No Way” as of this post. Shifting the curated (by whom?) and rebranded “Newsroom” over to another tab or real estate of the site won’t change a thing. Is it just me or does everything over there seem increasingly desperate, knee-jerk and just throwing 💩against a literal wall of chaos. The News product (a serious one) should have been sculpted in the long-view and tested out many years ago. It’s like their recent glossy yet tired re-roll of Facebook Groups—an early feature they rolled out in 2005-2006. Oh wow, you mean I can go hang out with everyone in my city who has a basset hound? Misery. Gimme a leash, a poo bag, and an indie podcast any day. The algorithmic news scroll is utterly broken and this won’t fix it. Very soon it will appear as quaintly silly and Victorian as arcade penny nickelodeons. Already happened really. Hands up high for anyone here or anyone you know under say…30 who gets their oh-so-reliable news from Facebook. Exactly. [dead crickets up in here] I think we can all agree that getting our news from the same source that knowingly peddles all of our data to even darker more nefarious actors on the web and beyond, promotes genocide, and uses what amount to blatant redlining tactics to sell real estate ads is probably not really great. Although Zuckerberg testified just this Wednesday that this last practice is not happening now—somehow, I just don’t believe anything this man says. What quantitative/qualitative metrics will Facebook have in place to restore our trust in this particular product? None. They’re literally re-upping their tactic and hedging their bets on hosting the same non-fact-checked sketchy political ads that produced an awesome 2016 for our democracy and others. I hope we’re all really cool with that. No, sadly…the only Newsroom announcement/event I want from Facebook is when they get broken apart. Our lives will go on better than before and we’ll be just fine. News is one area Facebook should just back away from. They’ve proven to suck at it in all their colossal irresponsibility. Pay journalists and support independent, diverse media wherever you can find it.
True editorial independence is defined as “…the freedom of editors to make decisions without interference from the owners of a publication. Editorial independence is tested, for instance, if a newspaper runs articles that may be unpopular with its advertising clientele or critical of its ownership.” I don’t see Facebook ever adopting this mantra. They’ve just picked up a buzz word and dribbled it all slipshod down the court only to blow an easy layup.
Designer | Consultant
I understand where FB wins, their algorithm is the gate keeper - they’ll gather marketing data on clicks, what you read, how long - build profiles,package and sell. How do the publishers and newsfeeds win? Surely, they are just reduced to content generators for FB. Researched fact journalism will sit side-by-side with opinion/commentary/propaganda - just look at realclearpolitics to see how that’ll work out. I use Feedly and read a broad range.
The just added Breitbart as a trusted news source and accepted the Daily Caller (white nationalist site) as a 3rd party fact checker. See Popular newsletter for how they are allowing Ben Shapiro to amplify against their own terms of service. All of this points to this being more of a propaganda network than a news feed. Journalism is based on spreading facts, albeit tinged with bias in the use of language and subject selection. Those sites above are telling outright lies to push a alt-right political agenda, and are easily fact checked for complete falsehoods. It is not a benefit to society to spread lies legitimized by wrapping them in a "news feed". While I strongly believe we should allow people with those views to freely express themselves on facebook, this format will only further the ignorance, hate, and partisanship that is already so prevalent in this country, by giving them cover and further amplification.