Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to change.

But is it change we can believe in?

Should you have been ensconced in your panic room for the last week with only burgers, the collected works of Perry Como and Dramamine for company, you may not have heard that Facebook is going to radically alter its news feed.

It'll now become more focused on friends and family and less on stuffing its gout-endangered gills with money from media companies.

Yes, you'll see less news about the political disaster of the day and more news about the disastrous relationship of your brother and sister-in-law. 

You might think this merely means Facebook is returning to being Facebook. 

But here, though, is how bad things truly became when Facebook was the repository of news. Or, as some might refer to elements of it, fake news.

I have just been staring at some research that asked Americans about the primary news sources.

Performed on behalf of tech PR company Bospar, it sought to see whether Facebook really is all that influential.

Painfully, there was only one demographic that didn't select Facebook as its number one choice for news.

Those were the baby boomers, whose usual number one choice for news is their own ego.

Perhaps in order to pretend to a certain decorum, the baby boomers in this survey of more than 1,000 American adults insisted that their number one news source was ABC News, followed by CBS, Fox News and NBC.

Still, there was more depth to this depiction of how Facebook has largely supplanted news outlets.

Men said Fox News was a close second to Facebook as their primary news source.

Women placed Fox News third, with Facebook first and ABC News second.

Some might think, though, that one statistic shows that all hope isn't lost.

When it comes to Republicans in this survey, Facebook was still beaten out by Fox News.

But it was disturbingly close.

Let's talk fair and balanced, though.

You'd imagine that Democrats still leaned on, oh, MSNBC ahead of Facebook.

You'd also imagine that frost tastes of cheese, sherry is sucked out of the barks of oak trees and worms routinely marry squirrels on the beach. 

Democrats insisted that Facebook was, indeed, their main news source. 

The web is tangled. Who can possibly unspool it?

And if you really think Facebook will, what will happen if this professed unspooling begins to cost it money?

Will Facebook continue to, um, bring humans closer together in its quest for an elevated nobility of purpose?

Or will it instead shovel news back into everyone's feed tray, like a chef that knows people love salty?

Hey, there are U.S. elections this year. 

Will your Facebook news feed ignore it or, perhaps, feature intellectual debate? 

Or will it be full of the same old partisan hectoring that's made it so irresistible?

Published on: Jan 13, 2018