In a continuous effort to prevent misinformation, a new Facebook update now focuses on alerting users when they’re about to share an old, potentially irrelevant article.
Yesterday, June 25, the social network has officially started globally rolling out a notification screen that will be prompted upon clicking on the “share” button, specifically for news articles that are more than 90 days old.
Facebook announced: “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 [them] to continue sharing if they decide an article is still relevant.”
Basically, should the readers feel that the article is still worthy of sharing despite it being “old news,” then they can simply ignore the alert and proceed to posting it on their feeds.
Accordingly, Facebook’s internal research has concluded how the original publication date of the article ultimately helps readers determine what to read, trust, and share. “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,” the social network explained in a blog post. “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have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labeling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways.”
Facebook has also been actively trying to prevent fake news from being shared on their platform, particularly stories that are directly related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook wrote, “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.”
“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.”