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Facebook announces further News Feed changes

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Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 17:15:06-05

Have you noticed changes on your Facebook News Feed? Last week, Facebook implemented changes to its algorithm to "show more high quality, trusted news."

On Monday, company founder Mark Zuckerberg said that it's next update will "promote news from local sources."

"We're going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city," Zuckerberg said. "If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in News Feed. We're starting this first in the US, and our goal is to expand to more countries this year."

On January 19, Zuckerberg said that Facebook users should expect to see fewer news stories popping up in their News Feeds. Zuckerberg said the amount of news appearing in users' feeds would decrease from 5 percent to 4 percent. 

The announcements comes after a series of Congressional hearings in 2017 involving the usage of social media to spread allegedly false propaganda from Russian sources. According to a September 6 Senate hearing, Facebook identified hundreds of Russian operatives posing as American activists, spreading information intended to mislead US voters. 

Why is Facebook emphasizing local news?

"People consistently tell us they want to see more local news on Facebook," Zuckerberg said. "Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives. Research suggests that reading local news is directly correlated with civic engagement. People who know what's happening around them are more likely to get involved and help make a difference."