Facebook Inc (FB) Calls NYT Report Into Question


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has responded to an article in The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) which questions the effectiveness of its News Feed algorithms, calling into question the writer’s credibility.

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If it feels like you’re having a moment of déjà vu, then you’re not alone. Facebook is now the second company in less than a month to question the credibility of a New York Times writer.

Facebook Inc (FB) Calls NYT Report Into Question

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Writer Nick Bilton wrote over the weekend that he was experiencing a lower amount of engagement on his personal posts, and he blamed that on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). He also suggested that the social media giant was suppressing organic content so that it could sell more Promoted Posts.

Facebook responded by saying that overall engagement on posts from people with followers has increased 34 percent year-over-year. The social networking site also said the News Feed algorithm is separate from the advertising algorithm so that “the most engaging posts in News Feed” aren’t replaced with sponsored stories.

According to Facebook, Bilton’s report was based on “a few anecdotes of one post from one year to a totally different post from another year.” The site called that an “apples-to-oranges comparison” and also said that it wasn’t representative of what is happening overall on the site.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) did note that in some cases, early adopters of its new Follow feature saw their follower numbers go up but their engagement fall. The site said that over time, those new followers simply engaged less with those figures, so it started showing fewer stories from those figures to users who didn’t engage as much with their stories.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is the other company that has questioned a The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) reporter recently. The car company called into question a scathing review written by John Broder in February.

Broder claimed that when he test drove the company’s Model S, he was stranded by the side of the road because the electric vehicle’s mileage was cut drastically by the cold weather.

Tesla later released the trip logs from the vehicle as proof that Broder’s story wasn’t exactly as he said

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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