Facebook reportedly uses the news feed to improve its image

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Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly active users.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Facebook is reportedly trying to mend its tarnished image by showing users positive stories about the company on its news feed.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the social network is taking a more aggressive approach as part of Project Amplify, an internal effort in January. Efforts come as the world’s largest social network responds to a series of scandals that have plagued the company.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed the project last month, The Times reported.

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

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

Facebook has been subjected to intensified scrutiny by legislators and supervisory authorities since 2018 Cambridge Analytica Data scandal that raised concerns about whether the company was doing enough to protect its users’ personal data. The social network has also come under fire for not doing enough to contain the spread of misinformation about elections, the coronavirus and other issues.

Facebook’s image took another blow last week when the Wall Street Journal published a series of stories about the social network’s internal research, including finding that Instagram was toxic to teenage girls. The social network declined the reports in a lengthy blog post, stating that the stories contained “intentional misrepresentations” of the company’s motives.

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