The new feature will work with a small procase in 'Related Articles' which first appeared in 2013. Related Articles display related content after reading an article in an effort to get you to read and share more news on Facebook. Today's test will show links to other articles before you even click on anything.
Facebook does not specifically mention that it is trying to fight the fake news in this way, but its direction is clear:
These additional articles, which appear when they are talked about a lot on Facebook, will appear with an adcase below the link. This should provide easier access to additional information, including articles recommended by third parties.
It's a small change, but it could work. Previous efforts focused on combating fake news relied on flagging fake stories (which took too much time to do) and education of Facebook members to be able to spot obvious fake news.
By displaying the extra links before you click on an article, Facebook is able to ensure that:
- That you really know that there are different perspectives before you are affected by the posts you see.
- That you will see more articles from trusted sources.
- That Facebook does not have to wait for a third checkpoint (which may take a few days) to detect and remove a fake news.
Basically, Facebook this time seems to be trying a more sensible approach to dealing with fake news and balancing bias by simply adding a big red “fake news” label. That way, users will be able to determine what it is false by themselves.
Of course, it is up to the users to find and read the opinions that are quoted and there may be some who do not want it. At least the largest social network seems to be relieved of all responsibility. The new feature may still have a long way to go, but it's worth reiterating that it seems to be a step in the right direction.