April 17, 2021 9:00 pm

Facebook to run top posts from politicians in your News Feed even if you don’t follow them: Here’s why

Facebook is testing a feature that will run top posts from local politicians into users news feed who follow at least one local, state or federal representative from their area

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To make civic engagement more prompt, social media giant Facebook is testing a feature that will run top posts from local politicians even into non-followers news feed, said media report.

According to multiple reports, the feature which is being tested currently, will appear not more than once per week, and only for users who follow at least one local, state or federal representative from their area.

“We are testing a new civic engagement feature that shows people on Facebook the top posts from their elected officials,” a Facebook spokesperson said to technology news website Recode. “Our goal is to give people a simple way to learn about what’s happening at all levels of their government,” the spokesperson added.

According to report, what people would see may not be based on political affiliation. The social networking site will slip posts with highest engagement regardless of political party, according to the spokesperson.

For example, even though, you don’t follow US President Donald Trump or Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but if they are trending, their feed are likely to slip onto your news feed. Facebook has been trying to get its user base involved in politics for some time now. This new feature is expected to encourage more politicians to be social media savvy, said report.

In the past, there has been apprehension about Fake news and how social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp are helping in spreading it but with these initiative, Facebook wants to curb it and engage people and politician more so that the scope of Fake News gets minimise.

Earlier in a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg had said, “Our goal is to give every person a voice. We believe deeply in people. Assuming that people understand what is important in their lives and that they can express those views has driven not only our community, but democracy overall. Sometimes when people use their voice though, they say things that seem wrong and they support people you disagree with.”

“After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading. These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right. I want to do my best to explain what we know here,” he added.

“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other,” he said.

“That said, we don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further,” said Zuckerberg.

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