Facebook tests ‘less political’ news feed in 75 new countries

Facebook is slowly expanding its efforts to remove political content from the News Feed. Facebook said the company is now testing its “less political” feed in 75 new countries.

The company has already introduced a copy of the new news feed in Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia. But the latest update represents a significant expansion of efforts, and brings the total number of participating countries to more than 80. Facebook did not specify which countries were the latest to join the test, but a spokesperson confirmed that the company is showing news feed changes to a “small percentage of people” in each country. The spokesman added that countries that will hold upcoming elections and those “most at risk of conflict” are not included in the tests.

Mark Zuckerberg first plans to make the News Feed less political in January, just weeks into the insurgency. “People don’t want politics and fight for control of their experience,” he said at the time.

Rolling out the changes to more countries could help Facebook learn more about how to lower the temperature on its platform, which could be particularly useful because the company is accused of offering its service to boost engagement. At the same time, the company acknowledged that the changes could harm publishers. “As we get more ideas from these tests, we’ll share updates on what we’re learning and continue to make changes accordingly,” Facebook wrote in an updated blog post.

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