With Trump ousted, Facebook cuts back on politics to ‘turn down the temperature’

Facebook revealed on Feb. 10, 2021 that it will begin to scale down political content in its News Feeds in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week, and will do the same in the US in the coming weeks. Alamy Stock Photo

After the installation of Joe Biden as United States president in a highly suspect election that even led to violence in Washington D.C. – and more importantly the nullification of Donald Trump, at least in the eyes of the political establishment and media – Facebook is dialing down on its previously heavy involvement in politics.

The massive company, originally formed to rate whether female Harvard students were “hot or not,” revealed on Wednesday that it will begin this week to scale down political content in its News Feeds in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week, and in the U.S. as well in coming weeks.

For those who like their Internet moderated, filtered and massaged, the social networking giant said it would “temporarily reduce” the content for a “small percentage of people” in those countries, the New York Post is reporting.

“​During these initial tests we’ll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we’ll use going forward​,” Facebook product management director Aastha Gupta said in a blog post.

Information from official government agencies and services will not be affected, she added, as well as updates about the COVID-19 pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

​”To determine how effective these new approaches are, we’ll survey people about their experience during these tests. It’s important to note that we’re not removing political content from Facebook altogether,” Gupta said.​

​”​Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to find and interact with political content on Facebook, while respecting each person’s appetite for it at the top of their News Feed.​”

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month that he wanted to “turn down the temperature” of political news on the site because “people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.”


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