Facebook wants users to judge news’ trustworthiness with two simple questions

Do you trust me?
Do you trust me?
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
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Facebook says that news sources deemed as “trusted” perhaps won’t lose as much exposure as others, as a result of its recent News Feed change. Whether an outlet is trustworthy or not will be determined not by the platform or outside experts, but by users themselves, the company said last week.

Buzzfeed obtained and confirmed with Facebook the full contents of the survey that the company is sending out to a sample of random users across the United States. The questionnaire consists of two simple questions:

Do you recognize the following websites? (The answers are “Yes” and “No”)

How much do you trust each of these domains? (The answers are: “Entirely,” “A lot,” “Somewhat,” “Barely,” “Not at all”)

According to founder Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook will determine a news source’s trustworthiness by calculating a ratio between users who trust it, and users who are familiar with it. The ratio will help determine where a publication finds itself in users’ News Feeds—which affects its website traffic, and thus its bottom line.

“The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post last week.