Facebook Tests Related Articles Fact-Checking Update in Ongoing Quest to Combat Fake News

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Facebook product manager Sara Su today shared a blog post that highlights a test launching on the company’s iOS and Android apps, consisting of an update to the “Related Articles” feature found beneath posts shared by your friends and family.

For users included in the update, Related Articles will now highlight differing perspectives from separate publications on the same subject mentioned in the parent article, namely “including articles by third-party fact-checkers.”

This marks Facebook’s newest leg in its anti-“Fake News” quest, which it began earlier in April by educating its users on the subject with a “tips for spotting false news” gateway that sat atop the Facebook app for a few days. With today’s launch of the Related Articles test, Su mentioned that Facebook users will now have more tools at their disposal to see a “complete picture of a story or topic” before they even click on the original story.

One of our main goals is to support an informed community on Facebook. This includes helping people have conversations about the news and giving people more ways to see a more complete picture of a story or topic.

Today, we’re beginning to test Related Articles that might appear before you read an article shared in News Feed. These additional articles, which appear for topics many people are talking about on Facebook, will appear in a unit below the link. That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers.

The Related Articles test is “one of many tests” that Facebook is working on to improve the service’s reputation with rampant fake news sharing, an issue that has been on the rise since before the U.S. presidential election last year. When Facebook launched the educational tool for spotting false news, Google also debuted a “Fact Check” label in search results for all countries.

The problem reached such heights earlier this year that Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “one of today’s chief problems,” while Eddy Cue said that Apple itself is “trying to do some things in Apple News” that would address fake news directly.

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