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Zuckerberg-approved news may soon have its own tab on Facebook


News outlets would be paid for 'high-quality content' hosted on the site

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that his company is considering paying news outlets to post their stories on a dedicated tab on the social media site.

What did he say?

In a video published on his own Facebook page, Zuckerberg told Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner that he thought "Facebook could potentially have a direct relationship with publishers in order to make sure that their content is available, if it's really high-quality content." He compared it to the "Watch" feature that Facebook has for videos.

"There really is an opportunity to do something like that for news as well," he explained.

Zuckerberg said that his people would have to talk to "experts in the field" about what their system might look like.

What does this mean?

The biggest question is what Facebook's rubric will be for what is and isn't "high-quality content." While Zuckerberg expressed concern about treating content fairly, he offered few concrete details this early in the proposed project.

He told Döpfner that Facebook didn't want to "build this in a vacuum." He also said that Facebook would publish "high-quality and trustworthy information" but added that he was concerned about what the appropriate "level of curation" would be for Facebook. This curation would have to deal with not just different viewpoints, but different and ever changing mediums.

"I would hope in the online ecosystem that new types of journalism can thrive," he said.

Facebook has had a problem for years with the viral spread of fake news stories on its platform. Critics worry, however, that Facebook's rush to crack down on such falsehoods may also target stories that Facebook executives believe to be false, such as those espousing skepticism about climate change, which are still hotly debated political topics.

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