Facebook explains content it demotes in news feed in bid for transparency

FILE PHOTO: Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Thursday said it reduces the distribution of certain content including clickbait, posts with "sensationalist" or exaggerated health claims or low-quality videos on its news feed, and outlined its content guidelines as the social media platform faces increased scrutiny over how it displays content to users.

In a blog post, Facebook said it sought to provide clarity on the content it down-ranks in the news feed, which the company said is based in part on feedback from users.

The post comes after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that efforts to change the content algorithm to boost "meaningful social interaction" ended up rewarding posts with outrage or sensationalism.

Facebook said it also demotes content from news publishers that users rate as untrusted in surveys and content posted by pages or accounts that repeatedly violate its rules.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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