Facebook is in the process of reorganising how news posts will appear on its feed. It was announced last week that the basis for which publications will be given preferential treatment will depend on a survey sent to users regarding their subjective impression of how “trustworthy” that source or domain is.
According to a Buzzfeed post published earlier this week, Facebook’s publisher trustworthiness—the basis of a major overhaul to a company worth around $500 billion—consists of only two questions.
1. Do you recognise the following websites
2. How much do you trust each of these domains?
[Entirely/A lot/Somewhat/Barely/Not at all]
Does that seem woefully incomplete? Well, it was reportedly confirmed by a Facebook representative as the actual and only survey in use by the platform that an entire industry depends on.
We reached out to Facebook for comment on why the survey is the way it is, what domains it’s selecting to include in the survey, or if everyone there has lost their minds. A Facebook spokesperson eventually responded to Gizmodo’s inquiries to claim that trust scores are just “one of the many factors that we consider while ranking stories.” The survey will appear approximately where friend recommendations currently do, and be served to an unknown number of users who were described as both “random” and “representational.”
Facebook further noted that it has no plans to release publishers’ trust scores or a information on which publishers were included in the survey.