a facebook redo
October 25, 2019

Facebook's latest step in its fight against fake news is to ditch technology in favor of humans.

On Friday, Facebook unveiled a new section of its mobile app called "News Tab," dedicated to delivering news content from various publications, The New York Times reports.

Facebook News will be tested with 200,000 users in the U.S. in the coming months, and will display personalized news, along with a local news section called "Today In," CNET reports. The stories will be pulled publications like CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and also alt-right platform Breitbart, the Times notes.

And CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who reportedly feuded with media regarding his lack of compensating publishers, even as late as May 2018 — is now offering up to $3 million a year to publishers to purchase licensing rights, The Verge reports.

Campbell Brown, Facebook's head of news partnerships, explained their new approach to journalism, in ditching the algorithms, and told the Times, "our goal is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people."

"For the Top News section of the tab, we're pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure we're highlighting the right stories," he added.

The Silicon Valley giant's previous effort in news aggregation, "Trending News," which was largely moderated by algorithms, was nixed last year after it amassed widespread criticism for disseminating fake news. But it's not the first one to switch back to humans; Facebook's competitor, Apple News, also employs traditional journalists to edit and curate the subscription news app, notes the Times. Ramisa Rob

May 15, 2019

On Wednesday, Facebook will introduce new rules for Facebook Live, its livestreaming feature.

The move comes in the wake of the shootings in March at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left dozens of people dead. The suspect livestreamed the massacres on Facebook, and Facebook said that now, any user who breaks the company's "most serious policies" will be prohibited from using Facebook Live for a set period of time and will not be allowed to purchase ads, CNN Business reports.

Facebook has not revealed all of the new rules, but a spokesperson told CNN Business that under this revised policy, the Christchurch suspect would not have been able to livestream the shootings; the spokesperson did not reveal what rules he had broken. In the aftermath of the attacks, video of the incidents spread on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, with Facebook removing 1.5 million copies. Catherine Garcia

March 6, 2019

Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want your data to be accessible to the masses anymore.

The Facebook founder has watched just about everything go wrong with his company in the past year — data leaks, controversial ad practices, and all sorts of politically influential malfeasance, to name a few problems. And now, it's convinced him to build a new, "privacy-focused communications platform," he writes in a blog post published Wednesday.

Facebook and Instagram, both Zuckerberg-run platforms, were built to be "the digital equivalent of a town square," Zuckerberg writes in the blog post. But as privacy concerns continue to pile up in public, "people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room," Zuckerberg continues. In fact, Zuckerberg says he "believe[s] a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms" in the future.

So, following the same vein as the Facebook-owned encrypted messaging service WhatsApp, Zuckerberg says wants to "build a simpler platform that's focused on privacy first." It'll be focused on six core principles: "private interactions," "encryption," "reducing permanence," "safety," "interoperability," and "secure data storage." Facebook doesn't have a strong "reputation for building privacy protective services," Zuckerberg acknowledged, but he countered by adding that Facebook has "repeatedly" built "services that people really want."

Some might say Facebook was supposed to keep data private in the first place, but Zuckerberg seemingly got a different interpretation out of that very public message. Read all he has to say here. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads