Facebook would use the news feed to improve its image


Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly active users.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Facebook is reportedly trying to repair its damaged image by showing users positive stories about the company in its news feed.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the social network was taking a more aggressive approach on Project Amplify, an effort reported internally in January. The effort comes as the world’s largest social network responds to a string of scandals that have plagued the company.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg approved the project last month, the Times reported.

Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne told The Times the social network had not changed its strategy and denied that a meeting took place in January. Osborne also tweeted that he told the outlet there was “no change” in the ranking of Facebook’s news feed.

“This is a test for a unit of information clearly marked as coming from Facebook,” Osborne tweeted. “It’s not the first of its kind and is similar to the corporate responsibility initiatives that people see in other technologies and consumer products.” In a picture Shared on Twitter, Osborne showed blog posts from the company that Facebook featured as part of the experiment.

Facebook has been under intense scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators since 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal, which raised concerns about whether the company was doing enough to protect the personal data of its users. The social network has also been criticized for not doing enough to curb the spread of disinformation about the elections, the coronavirus and other issues.

Facebook’s image took another hit last week when The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles on the social network’s internal research, including findings that Instagram was toxic to teenage girls. The social network objected to the reports in a lengthy blog post, saying the stories “contained deliberate misinterpretations” of the company’s motives.