Facebook is taking the news out of the News Feed. After a year of many course corrections to flag and filter fake news and articles with misleading headlines, the company has decided to fundamentally devalue news as a part of what its users see on the website. In a post announcing this move, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he expects engagement and time spent on the website to reduce as a result of this move. Which begs the question: why do it? In the past year, Facebook has dealt with heat from investigators and civil society on its role in shaping public opinion, particularly in the US. A Senate subcommittee investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential elections grilled Facebook (along with Twitter and Google) for letting the Russian government reach as many people with fake news as they did. President Trump's campaign is currently being investigated for collusion with Russian actors. Facebook's rapid adoption of news was a departure from the simple social networking model with which it started out. After all the headaches news has given Facebook, the company is basically admitting that the best way to deal with censorship and fake news is to have less news altogether. News has become more of a liability for the company — which has to testify before US lawmakers a second time now. "Nobody cares about feed changes" While devaluing news shaved off around $25 billion in Facebook's market value overnight, employees have been more or less complacent. A Facebook employee…
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