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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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US ‘concerned’ China is seeking to sway Taiwan polls

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The de facto US ambassador to Taiwan on Friday expressed concern that Beijing was attempting to influence the island's coming elections, days after China sent its first domestically built aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing confirmed earlier this week that the carrier traversed the strait separating China from self-ruled Taiwan, saying it was "routine" training.

"We of course regard any of these threatening actions with concern," said Brent Christensen, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), when asked to comment on the sail-by.

AIT serves as the de facto American embassy in Taiwan.

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Trump is ignoring his duties to obsess over impeachment and panic about GOP betrayal: report

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According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump thinks of little else other than the ongoing impeachment hearings being conducted by the Democratic-controlled House and is in a constant of panic that Republicans may turn on him.

Te report notes that the president has put all policy initiatives aside to concentrate on pushing back on impeachment and running for re-election earlier than had been anticipated.

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Michael Steele hilariously shreds the RNC for spending $100K on Donald Trump Jr’s ‘dumb book nobody’s going to read’

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Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, trashed the organization he once led over revelations that donor money was used to boost sales of Donald Trump Jr.'s new book.

The former RNC chair told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he wasn't a bit surprised by the reports, and said the GOP organization has been absolutely corrupted by President Donald Trump.

"Of course it was the RNC -- SOBs," Steele said. "Oh my god."

"Look, let me just tell you how screwed up this is," he continued. "Before I became national chairman, I had written a book on how the Republican Party can regroup after the 2008 shellacking, after the 2006, you know, bang-up at the polls, and move the party forward, and people looked at me and said, 'How dare you write a book and try to profit off of the RNC.'"

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