Facebook is a disease, but it’s still trying to be “more meaningful.”
Two reports on Friday gave us fresh reminders of why Facebook is a detriment to society. First, Intercept reported that—despite Mark Zuckerberg’s repeated insistence that his company has a moral and professional obligation to protect users’ privacy—Facebook’s lawyers argued to a California judge in May that users waive their right to privacy when they share private information on Facebook for others to see. Then Reveal published an investigation into hundreds of police officers who are members of private Facebook hate groups filled with racist and anti-government memes and comments.
Sandwiched in between those two reports, Facebook announced that it is tweaking how it displays public comments on Facebook pages for public figures, organizations, and businesses. Now the platform will “rank” comments to boost “relevant and quality comments.”
In a blog post, Facebook product manager Justine Shen wrote that Facebook has been conducting surveys to figure out what sort of comments users like more. She explained that the new ranking system will be based, in part, on “integrity signals” that somehow determine if comments are “safe and authentic,” and it will respond to how users engage with the comments.
This ranking system is now a default for public pages and pages for people with many followers, but the operators of those accounts will be able to turn off comment ranking, according to Facebook.
All other users will have to opt-in to the comment ranking system if they want to bury all the shitty things that people write on their page.