In this world full of fake news and easily edited information, it is quite difficult to identify what is true or not. We also cannot identify the difference between a prank and a real announcement. With this, Facebook Newsroom recently updated their Twitter account with the news that they will gradually start applying labels in posts you see in your News Feed.
This announcement made last April 8 states the plan of Facebook to conduct their experiment of adding labels to pages. The tweet states:
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.Twitter of Facebook Newsroom
For the purpose of promoting accuracy of information being spread in the social media website, this is definitely a good action. This was prompted by some people taking satirical pages by its face value.
Most of Facebook users spend multiple hours browsing on their accounts. It varies in the purpose. It may be for entertainment, catching up with friends, or updating the world about them. Aside from that, Facebook also serves as the main source of information and news by others.
However, not all Facebook users can grasp the difference between “real” news and satirical. There are pages that has taken the form of satire in their content. These include The Onion and The Babylon Bee. Users unaware of the nature of these sites may confuse these news as factual and accurate.
Labels and Its Context
Owners of the pages themselves are the ones responsible to label their pages. Among the labels to add are Satire Pages, Public Official, and Fan Page. This social media giant’s action is not the first as they started to include labels on user’s feeds to fight disinformation since June last year.
These new labels will appear below page names in your News Feed. Also, users may expand on it for further information.
Fake News Prevalence on Facebook
This action made by Facebook is a big step to promote transparency, avoid fake news, and understanding the source of information. Not only will these avoid the confusion that we get to read in our feeds, it will also make Facebook a much safer and accurate place to acquire information..
As Engadget explains, Facebook failed to do actions to stop election misinformation. They missed endless opportunities to control it which resulted in confusion and misleading information. Also, another article from Forbes featuring a research from Princeton University shows how Facebook is the fastest social media website to spread fake news.
Just take note that the company specifically said that they are in the process of testing. This will allow them to see if it will improve on the transparency of the platform. It is also currently tested to Facebook in the US only so the ability to label pages may still be in the works.