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Facebook Controls How Over A Billion People Get Their News

By KYW social media editor Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The world's largest social network now controls how over one billion people are learning about what's going on in the news.

Facebook's algorithm is a mathematical formula that predicts what users might want to read, but it's also changing how it's user consume news.

"I think it's becoming more and more obvious to people that the stories that pop up are not just things that hap hazardly show up, these are things that are really tailored to them through the algorithm," says Temple Professor Alison Novack.

The shift raises questions about the ability of Facebook's algorithm to curate news -- a role traditionally played by news editors.

"By changing what people see, Facebook is essentially affecting what info they pay attention to, what issues they think are important and what sides of different arguments they might take," says Penn professor Jonah Berger.

Facebook says your News Feed is influenced by your connections and activity on the site but some fear users will create their own echo chambers, and filter out coverage they do not agree with.

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