For many Facebook denizens, it can be difficult to deduce the origin of a story that shows up in your newsfeed. An even greater challenge for some users can be figuring out which stories were never meant to be taken seriously in the first place. That's why Facebook is introducing a way to help separate the real from the fake.
The social network is currently testing labels on posts from pages that appear in users' news feeds to remove any confusion about their contents. These labels will include "satire page," "fan page," and "public official" so that readers parse where the information they're seeing comes from. The labels are being deployed across US accounts as we speak, though eventually they'll roll out across the rest of the world.
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According to a tweet announcing the new labels, Facebook says the changes are being made to give users "more context about the Pages they see."
Starting today in the US, we’re testing a way to give people more context about the Pages they see. We’ll gradually start applying labels including 'public official,' 'fan page' or 'satire page' to posts in News Feed, so people can better understand who they’re coming from. pic.twitter.com/Bloc3b2ycbApril 7, 2021
This isn't the first time we've seen Facebook work to take control when it comes to guarding against misinformation. In June 2020, Facebook started labeling government-controlled media outlets.
Facebook has also employed fact-checkers around the world to investigate various posts and other content that gets shared around the platform, with some of those decisions causing further controversy. It’s fair to say Facebook’s track record in keeping misinformation off its site has been mixed at best.
The new labels probably can't hurt your news feed experience — provided Facebook is transparent about why each label gets assigned to particular stories and pages. At any rate, it seems this latest move looks to put more responsibility on Facebook to be more diligent about the kind of stories they’re consuming and sharing.