It is clear that the last days have not been the best for Facebook that it lives a public relations problem derived from the boycott of advertisers and the pressures for the position of the company before the hate messages on its social platforms.

Certainly has been a large number of brands like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Diageo, The North Face, Clorox, Adidas, Ford, Denny’s, Volkswagen, and Microsoft those that have temporarily suspended their advertising investments.

But beyond seeing it as a problem for Facebook’s monstrous advertising business, analysts like Kim Davis, editorial director of MarTech Today, in an article published in Marketing Land, see this as a public relations problem, one that deserves fundamental changes. , more than cosmetics, in politics, and it seems that the change announced on Tuesday is one of them.

Will prioritize original news

In a context such as the one raised, the Menlo Park company said that it made a new update to its news algorithm with the aim of prioritizing the classification of the original news reports. In that sense there are some characteristics that are worth highlighting.

« This journalism takes time and experience and we want to make sure it is prioritized on Facebook, » Campbell Brown, VP Global News Partnerships and Jon Levin, Product Manager, wrote in a Facebook blog post.

On the one hand, Facebook pointed out that it will now show a new way in which it organizes content in its news feed to highlight original news publications so, for the moment, this adjustment will only affect news, it will include journalistic content such as exclusives, investigative reports, etc.

In this sense, he indicated that he will analyze the news on a certain topic, identify the most cited as original and make them appear at the top. And, instead, it will degrade news articles without « transparent authorship. »

« We have found that publishers who do not include this information often lack credibility for readers and produce content with clickbait or ad farms, all content tells us they don’t want to see it on Facebook, » they added.

In this way and, consequently, it will also combat the dissemination of content and videos that are not intended to inform, but rather seek to generate clickbaits to attract users for political or advertising purposes.

Although the idea seems good, it is worth noting that Facebook narrowed down that the change does not apply to news articles shared by personal connections such as friends and family, it only applies to articles shared by publishers’ pages.

Good time to make the change?

The adjustment in its algorithm comes in a context in which Facebook has been criticized for its position in the face of the spread of content with hate speech and disinformation on its platforms.

For various organizations, the Menlo Park company and other social networks do not do enough to remove this type of publication, criticism that has increased after the death of George Floyd and the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement.

As a result, hundreds of companies have decided to stop ads on Facebook and other social networks, something that although it still does not represent a problem for their advertising revenue, it has become a PR problem and that has impacted the capitalization value. of the company, so an adjustment like that of Tuesday can help project the image that it is really making changes in its policies as it was committed a few days ago and, with it, begin to reverse the negative impact it has already suffered.

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