Facebook is expanding an experiment that aims to reduce political information in the News Feed. According to an update to a February blog post, the company has found “good outcomes” in reducing this content for some users in a few regions. It is now expanding a test of the strategy to Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, and Ireland.
Axios reported on Facebook’s plans prior to the announcement. AAs it notes, Facebook’s new test also involves changing the signals it favors when promoting content. “Some engagement signals can better indicate what posts people find more valuable than others,” product management director Aastha Gupta writes. “Based on that feedback, we’re gradually expanding some tests to put less emphasis on signals such as how likely someone is to comment on or share political content.”
In contrast, Facebook will place a greater emphasis on signals such as “how likely people are to provide us with negative comments on postings about political issues and current events.” The company acknowledges that this could affect “public affairs content” and decrease traffic to news publishers, and it’s planning a “gradual and methodical rollout” of these tests over the coming months.