Following revelations that Russia may have influenced the 2016 presidential election, the world’s largest social media network has announced plans to combat fake news. The plan involves displaying a button next to articles in users’ News Feed. When clicked, users can learn more about the respective publisher and their credentials.
Fake news has been a problem long before the presidential election. Nefarious advertisers, for instance, have often used fake blogs and news stories to push their products or services. The problem has become increasingly problematic in recent years, however. Not only is fake news on the rise, but it’s become more difficult for users to identify. Facebook hopes to solve this issue by displaying a clickable button next to News Feed articles.
Facebook’s new button will consist of a lower-case “i,” and clicking it will reveal additional information about the publisher. The publisher won’t have control over the information displayed here, however. Instead, Facebook will pull information about the publisher from a variety of sources, including Wikipedia and other social sites.
As explained by Digital Trends, this feature is currently in the early stages of being rolled out; therefore, not every Facebook user will see it. You can check to see if it’s available for you by looking for “i” button in the upper-right corner of a News Feed article.
Of course, this feature isn’t a foolproof method to protect against all forms of fake news. Nefarious publishers may still circumvent Facebook’s policies to push their own agenda. With that said, Facebook users now have the option of learning more about content publishers, allowing them to make smarter decisions regarding whether they can trust the publisher.
Some Facebook advertisers have voiced concern over this new button, believing it may discourage users from clicking their ads. Being that the feature is still new, we really don’t know how it will affect advertisers. However, it could have the opposite effect by encouraging clicks and user engagement for honest publishers.
In addition to the new button, Facebook has also announced plans to manually review certain political and social ads. These are just a few steps that the social media giant is taking to combat fake news.