Facebook reveals its recommendation post guidelines for the first time for its users

Facebook has often been criticized for recommending posts or content that is objectionable or leads the users to extremist content or content that is based on conspiracy theories. So, for the first time, the company has published its recommendation guidelines and has revealed to the public the criteria it uses to block certain recommendations from the users for the Facebook app and Instagram.

So far, what everyone knows is that the posts and ads we see on Facebook and Instagram Explore are algorithmically generated suggestions that are based on the type of searches we do or our activities on both platforms, which reflect our interest. So, these algorithms are basically focusing on what captures our attention, and then they show us the content that we do not already follow, based on our interest.

These algorithmically generated suggestions have been under a lot of scrutinies for a while, and Facebook has not clearly told how it determines its recommendations. But in a statement, Facebook’s Guy Rosen has given a detailed account of the criteria on which Facebook determines and chooses which content is eligible to be recommended, and which is not? The content that Facebook deems unfit is promptly blocked. Such content includes posts and ads that are on the borderline; they do not violate the company’s rules, but they may have elements that Facebook finds objectionable. For example, a post with someone wearing see-through clothing will be blocked and will not be suggested to the users.

The second type of content that goes in the trash can includes spammy, or clickbait posts that are associated with low-quality publishing standards.

And last, the content that is debunked by fact-checkers also gets blocked from reaching the recommendation suggestions for people.

Facebook has been following these guidelines since 2016, but it is the first time that the company has revealed its policies publicly.

It will help Facebook to combat sources that constantly criticize it for using recommendation suggestions to lead people astray on the internet and to show them content that they would never search for themselves. To support this accusation, they give the example of people who follow anti-vaccine pages on Instagram, and they may also see recommendation suggestions for accounts with conspiracy theories about various diseases including COVID-19, even though Facebook itself claims that vaccine misinformation and QAnon accounts are considered ineligible for recommendations and are blocked away.

On the other hand, Facebook is often accused of censoring content and hiding some issues for different reasons, which may or may not be real. So, with these guidelines in open, Facebook will probably have something to show to explain why some content is hidden and why something gets a free pass!

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