To curb the spread of old news and fake news, Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a notification screen that alerts people when they share news articles that are more than 90 days old. With the context button, the new notification screen is meant to inform users to make informed decisions about what to share on Facebook.
Notably, the notification screen will appear when people click the share button on articles older than 90 days but will allow people to continue sharing 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. The social media company said “news publishers in particular” have expressed concern about old stories being recirculated as though they’re breaking news.
According to Facebook,
“Over the past several months, our internal research found that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people decide what to read, trust and share.”
Instagram also launched a similar pop-up notification last year to curb its users from sharing abusive comments with a similar set of options.
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.
“Through providing more context, our goal is to make it easier for people to identify content that’s timely, reliable, and most valuable to them.”