Facebook has announced that it’s rolling out more local news on users’ feeds through a tweak to its algorithms. The change was initially only in the US beginning in January, but today, Facebook is expanding its efforts to all countries and languages.
It’s an effort to try to promote less content from global publishers and prioritize content from more relevant local publishers. Facebook rolled out the change to address criticism from users and media that the platform was getting too political and that agents from the Russian government had tried to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election through Facebook. Back in January, CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the change, saying, “Local news helps us understand the issues that matter in our communities and affect our lives.”
Facebook wrote in a statement today, “We’ll continue our work to prioritize high quality news in News Feed,” emphasizing that local publishers that cover nearby cities are going to benefit the most from this change. The change comes at a time when Facebook has come under fire for misusing user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.