Economy

Facebook to explain decisions of news feed algorithms

Facebook to explain decisions of news feed algorithms

But which posts show up, and more importantly, why they show up, has always been a sort of black box to which not many Facebook users have any answers to.

Facebook is also improving its "Why am I seeing this ad?" feature to provide more context as to exactly why you might be seeing a certain ad on the News Feed. In effect, Facebook is going to help you understand how it ranks posts that show up on your News Feed.

The new feature, which will roll out for users worldwide over the next month, lets people find out why the site is showing them particular posts by clicking on "Why am I seeing this?" in the contextual menu for each item.

Facebook's News Feed changes were supposed to make us feel good.

You can access information about how past interactions on Facebook led to a post appearing in your feed - for example, how often you hit play on videos, or click on shared links. From there, you'll be able to view info at a glance on why you're seeing certain posts on your News Feed - e.g. because you're a member of X Group or Page on Facebook - as well as manage the content you'd like to see more or less of.

Other social giants like Twitter and YouTube have been criticised for recommending content without explaining why they are appearing to users.

More news: Facebook chief wants 'more active' govt role regulating internet

Both tools will be accessible from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of any post or advert on the news feed of the social media platform.

This move for more transparency comes soon after Mark Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post explaining that Facebook may need regulations to help address its "massive responsibilities".

"This is the first time that we've built information on how ranking works directly into the app", Facebook Product Manager Ramya Sethuraman said in the blog.

It also explains what information generally has the largest influence over the order of posts.

Facebook said it was also adding more information to the "Why am I seeing this ad?" button that has appeared on advertisements since 2014.

The company shifted its strategy for its centrepiece news feed in early 2018 when it made a decision to prioritize posts from family and friends and downgrade non-advertising content from publishers and brands.


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