I vividly remember making my Facebook account when I was in middle school (seventh grade, to be precise) in 2009. Other kids at school were starting to have Facebook accounts and of course 11 year old me felt left out, so of course I had to make one.
I feel like Facebook was much more simple back in 2009. The only people I interacted with were people that I knew in real life- not celebrities, company pages or news. I found this article that shows Facebook’s highlights over the years, including the different homepages. Boy, has the overall appearance of Facebook changed!
Recently, especially leading up to the presidential election last fall, Facebook has become a place where we interact with celebrities/public figures, news sites and company pages. It has become very divisive and hostile at times. In fact, last year I took a short break from Facebook because it became too negative for me. In addition, there are many concerns over how Facebook impacted the results of the election since it is not “necessarily good for democracy.”
As a result, Facebook recently announced that it’s making new changes where users will see less news sites/company pages, and more posts from people we actually know. BuzzFeed News reported specifically that users will now only have 4% news inside their News Feed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the new strategy as a "big change" and a "major update" that will ultimately lower the percentage of news inside News Feed from 5% to 4%.https://t.co/IeE3fKERsd
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 20, 2018
It will be interesting to see how this change will impact us. I thought this thread on Twitter was interesting since this is apparently something that Facebook’s CEO has announced in the past, but nothing has really changed.
… Also, Facebook has announced basically this exact change at least, like, three or four times now, over the years? Prioritizing friends, I mean. Eager to see how different this really is.
— Damon Beres ✨ (@dlberes) January 12, 2018
My advice for Facebook would be to fix the root of the problem: which is both monitoring “fake” news sites and hate speech. I feel like people have become reliant on Facebook for news at this point. Instead of changing it so users see less news, something needs to be done about deleting the “fake” pages.