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Facebook Backpedals Wednesday on Reducing Political Content

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced Wednesday that it will temporarily reduce the amount of political content on News Feed for a small percentage of users in certain countries.

The move comes after the company announced last month that it will no longer recommend political groups to users and will consider steps to reduce political content in the News Feed following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The Tech Transparency Project reported last month that Facebook was used to help organize the pro-Trump rally that led to the insurrection.

Facebook said the temporary reduction of News Feed political content will start this week some users in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia and will take similar steps in the U.S. "in the coming weeks."

The company said it will explore a ways to rank political content using different signals than it had previously used. Content from government agencies and health organizations, however, will be exempt from the changes.

Facebook said political content makes up only about 6% of what U.S. users see. The company said it plans to survey people as it tests these changes.

Earlier this month, when Facebook announced earnings, the company went to great lengths to paint Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) as the villain. The social media titan said it expects "more significant ad targeting headwinds in 2021," the result of proactive changes to Apple's privacy measures with the rollout of iOS 14 later this quarter.

FB shares descended 55 cents to $268.91.