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Zuckerberg releases manifesto outlining Facebook’s future vision

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Zuckerberg releases manifesto outlining Facebook’s future vision

Facebook CEO’s lengthy open letter touches on a variety of issues, but has as an underlying theme a commitment to fight against isolationism. Acknowledging that Facebook has evolved from a tool to stay in touch with friends and family into a platform where information and news are shared more widely, Zuckerberg discussed plans for how the company intends to allow people to form meaningful connections and communities online.

Among Facebook's plans is the intention to crack down on sensationalist stories and headlines, with the aim of reducing such content in News Feed. This is seemingly the clearest admission from Facebook so far that its News Feed algorithm should not be neutral, as the company has previously maintained, but its editorial selection should be adjusted to favour content based on quality, not only popularity.

In a section about “informed community”, Zuckerberg addresses filter bubbles and fake news - two concepts that have turned into common accusations made against Facebook - stating that the company is committed to providing diverse viewpoints and to helping “people see a more complete picture”. The plan is to allow users to position themselves in a “range of perspectives” that exist, although the details on how the company plans to do this aren’t discussed. 

Building on the recently announced journalism project, Zuckerberg also reiterated the company’s commitment to strengthening the news industry, although concrete plans are not mentioned: “There is more we must do to support the news industry to make sure this vital social function is sustainable -- from growing local news, to developing formats best suited to mobile devices, to improving the range of business models news organizations rely on.“

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-02-17 13:11

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

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