Facebook continues its fight against fake news, this time with a new feature that can help users decide which sources are worth reading, trusting and sharing.
In a blog post, the social media company announced that while it has been testing the feature since last year, it is now offering it to all of its U.S. users so that they will have more background information about the publishers and articles they see in News Feed.
“Research with our community and our academic and industry partners has identified some key information that helps people evaluate the credibility of an article and determine whether to trust the article’s source,” the company stated. “Based on this research, we’re making it easy for people to view context about an article, including the publisher’s Wikipedia entry, related articles on the same topic, information about how many times the article has been shared on Facebook, where it is has been shared, as well as an option to follow the publisher’s page. When a publisher does not have a Wikipedia entry, we will indicate that the information is unavailable, which can also be helpful context.”
Facebook also announced two additional features: More From This Publisher, which will give people a quick snapshot of the other recent stories posted by the publisher; and Shared By Friends, which will show people any of their friends who have shared the article.
The company is also starting a test to see whether users will find it easier to gauge the credibility of an article when more information about the author is provided, including a description from the author’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page or Profile, and other recent articles they’ve published.
“We designed these features with feedback and input from a diverse set of people and publishers, including many participants in the Facebook Journalism Project,” the company added.
The launch come as Facebook is dealing with the fallout from the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, was able to access data on 50 million users beginning in 2014. Cambridge Analytica was then employed to use the information to help the Trump presidential campaign.