Facebook targets fake news by providing more info on publishing sources

Posted October 5, 2017 3:38 p.m. EDT

Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to combat fake news by making it easier for its millions of users to learn more about the publisher of the content being shared in the users' news feeds.

Starting Oct. 5, the firm announced that it was launching a test of a new "i" button that when clicked will open a new pop-up window that will provide more information about the article's source and attempts to provide context about the publisher.

"People have told us that they want more information about what they're reading, Sara Su, a product manager for Facebook told TechCrunch, a widely respected site that covers Silicon Valley and the tech industry. "They want better tools to help them understand if an article is from a publisher they trust and evaluate if the story itself is credible."

According to TechCrunch, the information panel will display lines from a Wikipedia entry about the publisher and a link to more background information about the publishing source. The information panel is an effort to help Facebook users determine the credibility of the publisher by providing more information about its history. It would also allow users to determine how long the publisher has been in existence. The enhancement will also include additional Related Articles about the content that has been shared in the users' feed.

The effort to provide more context about links that are being shared is a result of the presidential election last year when political agitators outside the U.S. were able to plant stories that were pro-Donald Trump, leading to suspicions that the effort led to Hillary Clinton's loss.

Facebook is now facing further review from congressional investigators and possibly more regulation from the government in the wake of last year's election.