Red flags and “disputed” tags just entrenched people’s views about suspicious news articles, so Facebook hoping to give readers a wide array of info so they can make their own decisions about what’s misinformation. Facebook will show links to a journalist’s Wikipedia entry, other articles, and a follow button to help users make up their mind about whether they’re a legitimate source of news. The test will show up to a subset of users in the U.S. if the author’s publisher has implemented Facebook’s author tags.
Meanwhile, Facebook is rolling out its test from October that gives readers more context about publications by showing links to their Wikipedia pages, related articles about the same topic, how many times the article has been shared and where, and a button for following the publisher. Facebook will also start to show whether friends have shared the article, and a a snapshot of the publisher’s other recent articles.
These moves are designed to feel politically neutral to prevent Facebook from being accused of bias. After former contractors reported that they suppressed conservative Trending topics on Facebook in 2016, Facebook took a lot of heat for supposed liberal bias. That caused it to hesitate when fighting fake news before the 2016 Presidential election…and then spend the next two years dealing with the backlash for allowing misinformation to run rampant.
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