Sci-tech

Facebook's fight against fake news is going local

Facebook's fight against fake news is going local

The new feature, called "Today In", shows users a feed of local events, announcement and other news.

The feature is being tested initially across six United States cities: New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Billings, Montana; Peoria, Illinois; Olympia, Washington and Binghamton, New York.

The local news publishers that appear in the new section will all be approved and vetted by the company's News Partnerships team, writes Recode.

For its new local hub, Facebook is starting with a small batch of test markets.

Sheryl Sandberg Facebook shrug
Philippe Wojazer Reuters

"Today In" is part of the Facebook Journalism Project, an effort launched a year ago that has been seen as an acknowledgment of the company's role in the media industry and a way to fix the platform's often contentious relationship with publishers. There was a charge being circulated against Facebook that during the election season, a so-called fake news doing rounds on the social network was partially responsible for Donald Trump's unexpected victory, and so the tech giant was partly to blame for it.

Facebook plans to alert those living in the six cities about the new feature.

A company spokesperson was adamant in an email to Quartz that the section will be an addition to local news shared in the News Feed, likely because of publisher fears that they will be booted out of the feed. The users will get to go through local news on their go. The benefit of advertising, gained through Facebook will further depend on the number of users who frequently use the new section. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.


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