Facebook is launching a new feature today as part of the Facebook Journalism Project.
In a press release, the company said the move is to combat the spread of fake news on the website. The new feature is supposed to help provide the tools that users need in order to determine whether a news site is credible or not.
In the new update, if a user clicks the small “i” icon on a shared news post, Facebook provides them with additional information about the publisher and story without having to search the source elsewhere. The information is pulled from across Facebook and other sources like Wikipedia. It also pulls up a button to follow the source’s page and links to trending and related articles. It will also let you know how the article is being shared across Facebook through an infographic.
If there’s no information about the source, Facebook will tell you that. The released press release states
This is just the beginning of the test. We’ll continue to listen to people’s feedback and work with publishers to provide people easy access to contextual information that helps people decide which stories to read, share, and trust, and to improve the experiences people have on Facebook.
This feature comes as an update after Facebook faced backlash after the spread of fake news during the 2016 election. Companies have been striving to protect people against the spread of fake news since then, but there are reports that fake news stories were circulating during the recent reporting of the Las Vegas Concert Shooting. In this case, people took screenshots of a fabricated article and circulated the page online after Facebook had already removed the page.
The Facebook statement says that you shouldn’t expect to see much of a change in your news feed right away. Facebook suggests that pages refer to their publishing best practices and post informative stories that are relevant to their audience.