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Facebook News tab will soon be inaccessible due to Meta’s reduction of political and news content.

Facebook News will be discontinued by Meta for users in the United States and Australia in the first part of April as the site continues to downplay news and politics. In the United Kingdom, France, and Germany last year, the feature was discontinued.

The News page was introduced in 2019 and included selected headlines from local, regional, and national news sources.

According to Meta, users will still be able to see links to news stories, and news organizations, like any other person or organization on Facebook, will still be able to post and promote their stories and websites.

The move comes as Meta attempts to reduce the amount of news and political content on its platforms in response to years of criticism over how it deals with false information and if it supports political.

According to Meta spokesman Dani Lever, “This change affects what the system recommends, and people can control if they want more. It does not impact posts from accounts people choose to follow.”

“This announcement builds on years of work that we have done to better understand and handle political content according to what the public has requested.”

According to Meta, the addition of the News page has no bearing on its network for fact-checking and disinformation evaluation.

However, disinformation continues to be a problem for the business, particularly as other elections and the US presidential election approach.

Facebook never intended to be a political website. IT specialists ran it. Sarah Kreps, director of the Tech Policy Institute at the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy, who specializes in tech policy and the evolution of new technologies, stated, “And then all of a sudden it started scaling and they found themselves immersed in politics and they themselves became the headline.”

“I think it’s not surprising that Facebook is stepping away from politics even further in order to avoid unintentionally becoming a political headline this year, given the number of significant elections that are approaching.”

According to Poynter media analyst Rick Edmonds, news organizations have been witnessing a decline in Facebook traffic to their websites for a number of years, which has led them to concentrate on other methods of drawing in viewers, like search and newsletters. As a result, the removal of the News tab is not shocking to them.

“It’s one more very hurtful thing to the news business, but if you’ve been watching, you could see this coming,” Edmonds remarked.

According to Meta, news accounts for less than 3% of what users view in their Facebook feeds globally. Users of Facebook News in Australia and the U.S. decreased by more than 80% in the previous year.

However, half of American adults acquire news from social media at least occasionally, according to a 2023 Pew Research research. Facebook continues to outperform all other platforms.

According to Pew, 3 out of 10 American adults say they regularly obtain news from Facebook, and 16% say they regularly get news from Instagram, which is also owned by Meta.

Recently, Instagram users voiced their displeasure with the app’s decision to cease “proactively” endorsing political posts shared on accounts they do not follow.

Although it was always possible to disable the filter in user settings, many users were unaware that Meta had made this modification.

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