Facebook has introduced a new set of guidelines for publishers on its News Feed as part of a wider effort to help keep its users informed. The guidelines include best practices and things that must be avoided so that News Feed publishers will be able to connect with their audiences more effectively, with the underlying goal being fighting the spread of sensationalistic and misleading content on the social network. The guidelines are part of the Facebook Journalism Project established with the goal of providing insights into how News Feed works, its core values, policies implemented by the social media giant, and how it ranks stories as it seeks to present users with engaging content and penalize fake news.
Among other things, the guidelines include general News Feed principles that outline some standards to be followed when posting something on the social media platform, all in an effort to help publishers increase engagement with their intended audience. In other words, it is by these principles that Facebook determines what matters to audiences on the News Feed. For example, one of the principles that must be kept in mind when creating content on Facebook is that audiences give more importance to meaningful and informative content. After all, the Facebook News Feed aims to deliver stories that matter most to users. To help publishers follow this principle, Facebook suggests that they try to understand the audience they want to connect with, create posts that capture their attention, share timely posts more frequently, win the trust of their audience, and optimize their mobile web experience. Another guideline pertains to the accuracy and authenticity of content, with Facebook noting that it ranks posts users consider genuine higher in the News Feed. With that in mind, posts that contain clickbait links, misleading articles, and low-quality web experiences will be demoted.
Finally, Facebook says it does not allow posts that contain images of sexual activity or blatant nudity as well as content that includes a detailed description of sexual acts. Additionally, posts that promote violence or criminality, bullying, hate speech, self-injury, and other undesirable acts will be removed, according to the company. Generally, the guidelines do not contain significant changes to the social networking site’s publisher policies, but instead centralize the standards and best practices in a single place. According to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed, the guidelines serve as an extension of the Publisher Principles Facebook rolled out last May in collaboration with various media outlets.