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Facebook to pay ‘subset’ of news tab publishers

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Facebook said Monday it plans to pay only a portion of the publishers whose stories appear in a news “tab” set to launch in the weeks ahead.

Facebook recently confirmed plans for a News Tab that will be edited by seasoned journalists, in a departure from its longstanding practice of letting algorithms dictate a user’s experience.

A human team will select relevant, reliable breaking and top news stories.

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“The number of publishers included in the news tab will grow over time,” Facebook spokeswoman Mari Melguizo said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“To ensure we’re including a range of topic areas, we’ll start by paying a subset of publishers who can provide a steady volume of fact-based and original content.”

A Wall Street Journal report earlier Monday said Facebook planned to pay about a quarter of the estimated 200 news organizations whose articles will be featured.

The tab will be separate from the trademark news feed at Facebook that displays updates and content from people’s friends, according to the California-based online social network.

Aside from human-curated top news, sections of the tab will rely on algorithms to figure out a user’s interests based on “signals” such as pages followed, interactions with online news or subscriptions to publications.

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“Our goal with the News Tab is to provide a personalized, highly relevant experience for people,” Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown told AFP when the coming feature was revealed.

However the majority of stories people see will be determined by software, according to Brown.

Facebook Watch already allows users to peruse news shows funded by the social network and other on-demand online content.

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Facebook has launched an array of initiatives to support or bolster journalism in recent years as social media has been under intense pressure to avoid becoming a tool to spread misinformation.

Earlier this year Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted “to make sure that to the extent that we can, we’re funding as much high-quality journalism as possible.”

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The move comes with online platforms Facebook and Google dominating the market for online advertising, making it harder for traditional news organizations to gain traction in digital. The two internet giants have unveiled several initiatives aimed at helping the news industry and professional journalism.


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Ex-Fox News executive caught running a disinformation and fake news farm — using writers from Macedonia

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A New York Times expose revealed that Fox News paid writers in Macedonia to create click-bait that prompt Americans to fight more about issues.

According to the piece, both the left and right websites created by an international content farm to inflame people enough to click and share content. Conservative Edition News and Liberal Edition News intentionally writes stories with the purpose to infuriate each side for the purpose of generating hate-clicks, response articles and more. Headlines like "Austin sex-ed curriculum teaches kids how to obtain an abortion" and "HuffPost writer considers Christianity 'dangerous'" give right-wing audiences fodder for anger to lash out at their counterparts.

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The two conservative co-hosts of "The View" agreed the House hadn't turned up enough evidence yet to impeach President Donald Trump, but Meghan McCain erupted when she was interrupted for a commercial break.

Conservative Abby Huntsman has been more open to the impeachment inquiry, saying that Trump's actions toward Ukraine had been inexcusable, but she's not convinced he committed a crime worthy of impeachment.

But McCain, who has argued all along that Democrats were overplaying their hand politically, insisted Trump's opponents were too weak to take him down.

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Republicans ‘grumbling’ that impeachment hearing break is allowing devastating testimony to sink in: reporter

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As the House committee members took an extended break during testimony in the impeachment hearing this Thursday, a conspiracy theory reportedly emerged amongst some House Republicans, who felt the break was strategically planned to allow the Democrats' narrative to "sink in" for observers.

"Some grumbling from Republican House members that the current '45-minute' (it's been more than an hour already) #impeachment hearing break was strategic, to let the Democrats' argument and questioning sink in," Reuters reporter Patricia Zengerle tweeted.

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