While it is still accused of not doing enough against hate speech and against disinformation on its platform, Facebook is currently exploring the possibility of depoliticizing its news feed. In essence, the idea would be that users interact more with their friends and less with political content.
The initiative was announced at the start of the year and in September the company said it was encouraged by the results obtained through the tests. “We have seen positive results from our tests in response to the feedback we have received from people who want to see less political content in their news feed.”, said the social network.
And this week, Facebook is announcing a further extension of these tests to more countries. In addition to the United States, Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia, Facebook will also test this version of the newsfeed with less political content in other countries. According to an article on the Engadget site, 75 new countries would be affected.
Is France concerned?
Unfortunately, Facebook does not list the new countries affected by its tests. Therefore, we do not know if France is part of it. But even if it does, it’s worth noting that at this time, as part of these tests, only a small percentage of users should see a News Feed with less political content.
Recognizing the impact of this change, Facebook is moving cautiously. “We’ve learned that these changes will affect public affairs content more broadly and that publishers may see an impact on their traffic. Knowing this, we anticipate a gradual and methodical deployment of these tests, but remain encouraged and plan to announce further expansions in the coming months ”, Facebook explained in August.
This also ensures that the goal is not to remove political content from Facebook, but rather to “Preserving the ability for people to find and interact with political content on Facebook, while respecting everyone’s appetite for it at the top of their News Feed. “
In a previous update, Facebook also assured that information on COVID-19 from authoritative sources is not affected by these changes. Information from official government agencies and departments is also exempt.