In his recent interview with the far-left online publication Vox, Mark Zuckerberg explained Facebook’s new system of favoring “broadly trusted” news sources, via a mechanism designed to favor established outlets and crush new media.
Facebook introduced its new system in January, and the results were immediately apparent. Facebook traffic to establishment outlets including CNN and NBC soared upwards, while traffic to conservative outlets fell. Facebook engagement (likes, shares, and comments) also fell across multiple new media outlets, including those on the right and the left. Facebook engagement on President Trump’s posts fell by 45 per cent.
By making editorial judgments about what counts as “quality” news, Facebook has shifted from a neutral platform to a publisher with an editorial opinion.