Facebook has started testing a button that will provide users with additional information and context about articles they see in the News Feed. This additional contextual information has been pooled from within Facebook as well as other external sources.
The additional contextual information is pulled from across Facebook and other sources, such as information from the publisher’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page, trending articles or related articles about the topic, and information about how the article is being shared by people on Facebook. In some cases, if that information is unavailable, we will let people know, which can also be helpful context.
The Related Articles feature mentioned above was first introduced in 2013, but at that point it was simply a discovery tool. In April this year, Facebook enhanced this feature and started showcasing these additional articles, including articles by third-party fact checkers, in a separate unit below articles in the News Feed. This was later rolled out more broadly in August.
The social media major doesn’t anticipate any major changes to how content from Facebook Pages will be distributed in the News Feed because of this.
Fake news on Facebook
A couple of months earlier, Facebook decided to ban ads from Pages that repeatedly share fake news. It said:
Now, if a Page repeatedly shares stories that have been flagged false, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook. If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again.
At the time, Facebook said that it would tackle the spread of false news by three methods:
- Disrupting the economic incentives to create false news.
- Building new products to curb the spread of false news.
- Helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.
Towards the end of last year, the company had started testing tools to make it easier for users to report fake news, while articles flagged by its third-party fact checkers would be tagged disputed.