Facebook has warned about Fake News, get ready for Old News alerts

• Notification screens for posts with COVID-19 links also being explored

After Facebook audiences told the social media platform they were concerned about credible news after ‘fake news’ controversies, Facebook added a context button. The 2018 initiative was to provide information about the source of articles in the News Feed.

Now Facebook is starting to globally roll out a notification screen that will let people know when news articles they are about to share are more than 90 days old.

Here is a Facebook post explaining the move:

To ensure people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what to share on Facebook, the new notification screen will appear when people click the share button on articles older than 90 days, but will allow people to continue sharing if they decide an article is still relevant.

Over the past several months, our internal research found that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people decide 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.

Facebook stock

Some news publishers have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labelling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways.

Over the next few months, we will also test other uses of notification screens. 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 Centre 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.

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