What do you want to see in your News Feed? Facebook is currently focusing on viral stories in an effort to show you more posts you are actually interested in (and less stuff that you don’t want to see).
One thing Facebook has figured out is that people don’t enjoy seeing News Feed posts that are hoaxes. Facebook defines hoaxes as follows:
Hoaxes are a form of News Feed Spam that includes scams (“Click here to win a lifetime supply of coffee”), or deliberately false or misleading news stories (“Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah”).
What ends up happening is interesting. Someone posts an article that is a hoax. The person probably doesn’t realize that the story isn’t real. The post gets a lot of reshares (from people who also don’t realize it is a hoax).
A bunch of other people comment on that post to let the original poster (and everyone else) know that the story is a hoax. Some of those corrective posts include links to “hoax-busting websites”. Eventually, most people delete the hoax post (and feel foolish for posting it, I suspect).
In the meantime, all those comments and shares are making the Facebook News Feed algorithm think that a whole bunch of Facebook users want to see that particular post. It ends up going viral – for all the wrong reasons. That post is getting tons of attention because people don’t want to see it.
As a result, Facebook is asking users to take quick surveys where they are shown two posts and are asked which one they most want to see. Ideally, the result will be that the hoaxes that have gone viral will be placed lower down in people’s News Feeds in the future.