Facebook influences the news feed by rewarding publishers that publish what it wants to see

In the story about Facebook news curators suppressing conservative news, Recode’s Peter Kafka writes that many people are missing the real story about how Facebook influences what stories you see: Facebook has very specific ideas about what kinds of stories it wants in the news feed, and it rewards the publishers that publish those kinds of stories. And right now, that kind of story is video. While Facebook is paying some publishers for live video, Kafka writes, “Facebook doesn’t need to write publishers checks to get them to do what it wants: All it needs to do is make it clear what kind of stuff it wants in its News Feed.”

+ More on the inherent problems with Facebook’s algorithm: Facebook wants you to think it’s “just a platform” to absolve itself of responsibility to be open about its processes: “While Facebook has become the public’s primary conduit for digital content, its business imperative is to maximize engagement, not objectivity” (Columbia Journalism Review); “We can all turn to individual sources and savor the differences … but fewer of us are doing it, relying on the platforms to tell us instead. Those decisions are being made by some combination of humans and algorithms. And who programs those algorithms? Humans. Human fallibility — and built-in bias — are inevitable” (Nieman Lab)

+ To dig into what kinds of stories Facebook’s trending news section displays, The Intercept is asking people to take screenshots of its trending news section(Google)