Facebook seeks to offer more 'context' on coronavirus posts

Facebook to notify when you share old news

Facebook thinks by doing this, users may avoid sharing old articles that may be misinterpreted by their followers.

The social network, which is rolling out the feature globally from Thursday, said the decision is in response to concerns from news outlets.

Facebook's latest notification builds on news verification tools it introduced in 2018, such as bringing more context to articles people share, including related news and information about the publisher from their Wikipedia page, if one's available. While Facebook will not stop you from sharing old articles, it will make it a two step process so that you are aware that you are actually sharing news that's at least 90-days old. The platform will still allow people to share that old article "if they decide an article is still relevant".

Facebook acknowledged that old stories shared out of their original context play a role in spreading misinformation.


News publishers expressed concerns about older stories being shared on social media as current news, which can misconstrue the state of current events.

Unless they're explicitly marked as old, readers can share and post the article without looking at the date, thinking it's recent news. One such update will feature prompts that will pop up to let users know if they're about to share the link to an article that was published a while ago.

News that goes viral via social media platforms in this way can generally cause confusion and misunderstanding about numerous topics.

In a blog post announcing the new feature, Facebook said that it is now considering other kinds of notification screens to reduce misinformation, including pop-ups for posts about COVID-19 that would provide context about source links and steer users toward public health resources.

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