Facebook’s Trust Ranking and The Removal of 5,000+ Advertising Targeting Options
Facebook made headlines this week with two announcements that signal continued investment in buttoning up platform usage and may improve trust with users as well as quell misinformation within the platform.
In a blog post titled “Keeping Advertising Safe and Civil,” Facebook announced it would be removing over 5,000 targeting options to prevent misuse of the platform. The targeting options to be removed focus around multicultural affinities and interests that can be used to discriminate against users based on their race, ethnicity, or religion. Their removal will ensure advertisers cannot exclude or include targeting that does not align with Facebook’s non-discriminatory policies.
Along with these changes, Facebook will now require that all US advertisers certify that they comply with Facebook’s non-discriminatory policies. This comes on the heels of last year’s announcement that required political advertisers, housing and financial services advertisers certify against the same set of policies. Facebook also hinted that more updates to the targeting options would be shared in the coming months as the social platform continues to refine its advertising business model.
In addition to removing targeting capabilities to prevent discrimination, The Washington Post published an exclusive article unveiling Facebook’s Trust Ranking — a new initiative in which Facebook will be assigning a reputation score for users who flag news content on Facebook as false.
In a statement from Facebook spokesperson Tessa Lyon, the trust rankings are scored in the following way,
“If someone previously gave us feedback that an article was false and the article was confirmed false by a fact-checker, then we might weight that person’s future false-news feedback more than someone who indiscriminately provides false-news feedback on lots of articles, including ones that end up being rated as true.”
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The goal of the trust ranking will be to ensure users are not flagging content as false if they merely disagree with it. Both efforts announced this week demonstrate a continued push for Facebook to rebuild trust with its users and reduce platform misuse.