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Facebook’s PageRank-Inspired Click-Gap

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/10/facebook-click-gap-google-like-approach-to-stop-fake-news-going-viral.html

Facebook is undeniably the world’s most popular social media platform. With over 2 billion monthly users, it is not surprising that people are exposed to a variety of content: pictures, videos, articles, and fake news. During the 2016 election, Facebook was under criticism for allowing/providing a platform for Fake News to be shared at an alarming rate. Since then Facebook has made several efforts to change the way content is presented in people’s newsfeed. One of the methods they have started using is eerily similar to Google’s famous PageRank algorithm. According to the article, the newly created technique by Facebook is called “Click-Gap” which determines if websites are receiving an usually high amount of traffic. This is determined by comparing the traffic from other platforms, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Reddit, to the viewers those websites received from Facebook links. If there was a big disparity among Facebook and the other sources, then “Click-Gap” will determine these sites as producing “low-quality content.” Therefore, Facebook can control the visibility of these sites on their site. 

 

I found this article particularly interesting because of the similarities between PageRank, which was the first algorithm used by Google for ranking the importance of web pages, and the new “Click-Gap” by Facebook.  In order to provide an estimate of how important a website is, PageRink determines this by counting the number of links to a page but also assessing the quality of those links. As mentioned above, Facebook is doing a similar process in order to determine the quality of the content on a site. In an era filled with information, it will be interesting to see what sort of methods are used in the future to assess the quality of websites and other content.

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