A team of Facebook employees will make a stop in Burlington on Monday to hear what users have to say about the social network’s news feed.
The event at the downtown Hotel Vermont is part of a listening tour aimed at making improvements to the feed, the ever-changing stream of posts on your Facebook page.
The event comes less than a year after Facebook changed its algorithms to prioritize feed posts from friends and family.
The changes were in response to complaints about the flood of branded and media content in user feeds, as well as efforts by Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential campaign.
Between 2015 and 2017, more than 125 million people may have seen material posted by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that operated under fake Facebook identities, according to congressional testimony by Facebook’s general counsel.
The company also admitted that Facebook data on as many 87 million people, mostly in the US, may have been improperly shared by Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Despite all the attention paid to Facebook’s operations in the past year, most users still don’t understand how the news feed works, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
Pew found that just over half of Facebook users, 53 percent, don’t understand why certain posts but not others are included in their news feed. Older users are especially likely to be confused: just 38 percent of those 50 and older say they have a good understanding of why certain posts appear, compared with 59 percent of users ages 18 to 29.
The listening tour is apparently aimed at clearing up some of that confusion. According to the company, Facebook employees will explain “how and why” certain posts and ads show up in the feed, as well as the controls available to make sure users see what they want to see.
The free event will be co-hosted by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Farrell Distributing.
To RSVP, go here.
Burlington VT Facebook News Feed Event
Date: Monday, November 12, 2018
Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Location: Hotel Vermont, American Room, 41 Cherry St, Burlington