Facebook to begin reducing political content on News Feed

Facebook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook will begin testing reduced political content on News Feeds starting this week.
  • It will roll out tests to a small percentage of people in Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia this week, and the US "in the coming weeks".

Facebook has said it will begin testing measures to reduce political content on people's News Feeds from this week.

In a news post the company stated:

As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on our recent earnings call, one common piece of feedback we hear is that people don't want political content to take over their News Feed.Over the next few months, we'll work to better understand peoples' varied preferences for political content and test a number of approaches based on those insights.

Testing of the measures is coming to "a small percentage of people" in Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia this week, and Facebook says the testing will come to the US in the coming weeks.

Facebook says it won't limit content from health organizations like the CDC or the WHO, or from government agencies and services.

During these initial tests we'll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people's feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we'll use going forward. COVID-19 information from authoritative health organizations like the CDC and WHO, as well as national and regional health agencies and services from affected countries, will be exempt from these tests. Content from official government agencies and services will also be exempt.

Facebook says the goal "is to preserve the ability for people to find and interact with political content on Facebook while respecting each person's appetite for it at the top of their News Feed." Facebook says only 6% of what people see on Facebook is political, but that it knows even a small amount of political content can impact a user's experience. Facebook says it plans to share what it learns over testing and "the approaches that show the most promise."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9