Facebook has begun testing a new link sharing feature which would display articles related to the topic of the linked story as well as info from appointed “fact-checkers.”
TechCrunch reports that in their next step to ramp up the war on “fake news,” Facebook will be deploying an updated version of their “related articles” widget that will attach alternative articles and “fact-checker” links to each news articles posted on the website. Facebook says that the updated widget should “provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers.”
The idea behind the new feature is apparently to provide additional perspectives on a topic before users even read the initial article linked. TechCrunch gives the example of an article that reads “chocolate cures cancer!” from a small blog; the new related articles feature would link articles from sources such as the New York Times which explain the health benefits of chocolate but clarify that it has no cancer curing properties.
This new feature is currently only being tested by Facebook and will not be rolled out permanently unless it is proven useful. No ads will be linked in the related articles, and Facebook has assured page owners that they should not see a significant change in the reach of their news posts.
After Facebook promised to fight fake news by partnering with a team of partisan fact-checkers, Mark Zuckerberg released a humanitarian manifesto where he outlined some of the ways that he would like to see Facebook fight back against “fake news.”
“A more effective approach is to show a range of perspectives, let people see where their views are on a spectrum and come to a conclusion on what they think is right. Over time, our community will identify which sources provide a complete range of perspectives so that content will naturally surface more,” said Zuckerberg.