The spread of fake news and misinformation is one of the biggest challenges facing social media platforms. Facebook has often been accused of not doing enough to stop its users being exposed to incorrect information. The Social Network is now debuting a new update that will give users more knowledge about what they are sharing.
Facebook is introducing a new feature that shows more details about content on the platforms. Users will see a prompt when they decide to share content.
This prompt pushes users to open a link and read the content before sharing in on a news feed. It also warns users that there is a risk that articles are missing key facts. It's worth noting Facebook will only send the prompt when it detects users have not read an article. We guess this is done by detecting if you clicked the article.
The prompt also allows users to dismiss the advice and share the article without reading it. You can do this with the “Continue Sharing” options. Facebook says the prompt is not widely available yet but is rolling out.
Starting today, we're testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven't opened, we'll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others. pic.twitter.com/brlMnlg6Qg
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 10, 2021
Will it Work?
It is also unclear how well the prompt works even if the user does read the article. If a user already has a certain way of thinking, an article that reinforces those thoughts will not register as incorrect or full of misinformation. Is a person who believes in a flat Earth going to not share an article about a flat Earth?
It seems social media platforms will need to do more to stop the spread of fake news. This move by Facebook is a nice touch, but it is only a first step.
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