News Tip: Facebook Changes May Help Limit Spread of Fake News, Expert Says

Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm to favor family and friends over brand posts in dealing with criticism over election, changing how it works as a news source.

  • Quotes:
    “I think one of the lessons of the 2016 election was that the dynamics of how we get information about our friends and family probably shouldn’t be same as the dynamics of how we consume news. These platforms were never built with journalism in mind," says Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy professor Philip Napoli.

    “I think efforts by Facebook to reel back what we call ‘ambient’ news or ‘incidental exposure’ to news and to re-establish news as something we actively seek out and engage in may ultimately prove beneficial, particularly in terms of limiting the spread and consumption of fake news.”

    “The somewhat surprising reality is that, even in the wake of the congressional hearings back in October/November, virtually no real regulatory action came out of those hearings, other than a bill to require the same kind of transparency for social media political ads as for TV ads. So I think Facebook is breathing a sigh of relief and trying to figure out how to structure things going forward so they don’t find themselves in the same hot water again.”

  • Bio:
    Philip Napoli

    Napoli, a professor of public policy at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, researches media institutions, media regulation and policy, such as net neutrality. He has provided expert testimony on these topics to the U.S. Senate, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. He is an affiliate of Duke’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy.

  • For additional comment, contact Phil Napoli at: