December 18, 2017

Facebook testing an info button for links to combat fake news

06 October 2017, 12:25 | Ross Houston

Facebook is testing adding context to news stories

Facebook tries fighting fake news with publisher info button on links

"We are testing a button that people can tap to easily access additional information without needing to go elsewhere", said a Facebook blog post signed by product managers Andrew Anker, Sara Su and Jeff Smith. The lack of information on a publisher could mean its a suspicious site.

As part of its ongoing effort to revamp its process, it is testing a new I-button to links to give readers more information on where the news is coming from.

In addition to the Wikipedia entry, users will get trending and related content, and details on how the article is being shared. "They want better tools to help them understand if an article is from a publisher they trust and evaluate if the story itself is credible". It would also allow users to determine how long the publisher has been in existence.

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Senator Mark Warner, a member of the intelligence committee, said that "it's important that the three companies that we've invited - Google, Twitter, and Facebook - will appear in a public hearing" to testify on how they will curb misinformation and manipulation.

According to TechCrunch, the information panel will display lines from a Wikipedia entry about the publisher and a link to more background information about the publishing source. "Vandalism on Wikipedia is a rare and unfortunate event that is usually resolved quickly", she told TechCrunch. After the shooting in Las Vegas claimed 59 lives and injured more than 500, Facebook's Safety Check feature was overrun with related items pointing to fake news. The new feature will not change what a person sees in their news feed, Facebook said.

Facebook, in a bid to make the users more aware, has introduced a new button on its platform. That could hurt innocent news publishers, as well as reducing clicks to Facebook's ads.

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