Wednesday , January 27 2021

Facebook News Feed begins to explain itself

Facebook has announced a new feature of the name “Why do I see this post?” Allows you to see information about why a particular post has appeared on your News Feed within the Facebook app. The new option was announced on Sunday and we are expanding our Facebook feature which already provides for adverts. As well as seeing why a job has appeared, it will also give you control over how often you see jobs like it in the future.

You can access the new option by using the menu at the top right of the post. Once opened, you will be shown in Facebook's logic about why it thinks you could see a job. This could include how many times you have previously interacted with the author of the post, the types of jobs you tend to interact with (such as pictures or videos), and the general popularity of the job itself.

As well as explaining why your News Feed shows you a specific post, the new feature will also give you shortcuts to tools that control you and see posts like it again in the future. These include Viewing First Choices and Unfollow, as well as connecting to your News Feed Preferences.

The feature ‘Why do I see this advert?’ Now show when your email address has been matched against a mailing list.
Image: Facebook

An existing feature “Why am I seeing this advert?” Also being updated as part of the changes. Facebook already gives you basic information about how its targeted ads to you, for example, tell you that an advertiser has chosen to target individuals from your age and gender. Now you will find additional details such as whether the advertiser has loaded a mailing list up with your email address in it.

We have long argued that Facebook News News needs to start to explain itself if the service is ever to regain the trust of its users, and these new options are an important step in that direction. However, the more basic problems with the service like the “filter bubble,” the idea that personalization tools from companies like Facebook and Google are isolated from different viewpoints aren't – just how it has been created.

The changes are starting this week, and are expected to be available to all users by mid-May.

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