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To tackle misinformation on its platform, social media network Facebook will now alert users when an article they want to share is more than 90 days old. Users will, however, still be able to share such articles.
“Over the past several months, our internal research found that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people decide what to read, trust and share,” the company’s VP, Feed and Stories, John Hegeman, said in a blogpost.
He added that news publishers in particular have expressed concerns about older stories being shared on social media as current news, which can misconstrue the state of current events.
Some news publishers have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labeling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways, Mr. Hegeman noted.
He further added that over the next few months, Facebook will also test other uses of notification screens. “For posts with links mentioning COVID-19, we are exploring using a similar notification screen that provides information about the source of the link and directs people to the COVID-19 Information Center for authoritative health information.”
He said, “When we ask people what kind of news they want to see on Facebook, they continually tell us they want information that is timely and credible...Through providing more context, our goal is to make it easier for people to identify content that’s timely, reliable and most valuable to them.”
In 2018, Facebook added the context button, which provides information about the sources of articles in newsfeed. “To ensure people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what to share on Facebook, the notification screen will appear when people click the share button on articles older than 90 days, but will allow people to continue sharing if they decide an article is still relevant,” he said.