Facebook is gradually broadening its efforts to remove political content from the News Feed. According to a Facebook update, the company is now testing its “less political” feed-in 75 new countries.
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The revamped News Feed is already available in the United States, Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia. However, the most recent update represents a significant expansion of the effort, bringing the total number of countries involved to more than 80.
Facebook did not mention the most recent countries to join the test, but a spokesperson confirmed that the changes are being shown to “a small percentage of people” in each country. The tests do not include countries with upcoming elections or those “at higher risk of conflict,” according to the spokesperson.
In January, just weeks after the uprising, Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to make News Feed less political. “People don’t want politics and fighting to dominate their lives,” he said at the time.
The expansion of the changes to more countries could help Facebook learn more about how to lower the temperature on its platform, which could be especially useful given that the company has been accused of making its service angrier in order to increase engagement.
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At the same time, the company has acknowledged that the changes may be detrimental to publishers. “As we gain more insights from these tests,” Facebook wrote in an updated blog post, “we’ll share updates on what we’re learning and will continue to make changes accordingly.”