Worried about fake news? Here's how Facebook is responding



Associated Press
In this file photo from May, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad.

After rising concerns of fake news, a major social media company announced steps to clean up its digital space.

Facebook made its most recent announcement Wednesday regarding its efforts, this time centered around its trending feature. The tool was accused of playing a role in spreading fake news.

Trending is a function that shows readers popular topics that they otherwise wouldn't see in their news feed.



The changes include:

Topics will include a headline and attribution to a publishing website. The website will be selected based on factors such as engagement on that particular publisher (such as Fox, NBC or Weather Channel), and interaction with the link on Facebook.

New system to determine what's trending will look at how many are reporting the story. Previously, the system may have looked solely at engagement around a single post. Now, the number of publishers posting about the topic, and the engagement around all those stories, will be considered.
Everyone in a region will see the same topics. Topics won't be personalized anymore, so that people don't miss important issues.


Earlier this month, it announced the Facebook Journalism Project, stating it is an effort to make sure "a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive."

The project has three prongs:

Collaborative development of news products. Goals include: work with news partners on product development; expand opportunities to help better tell the story, such as Live and Instant Articles; promote local news.
Training and tools for journalists. Goals include: offer courses on Facebook's tools for journalists; promote eyewitness media as sources for reporters during breaking news.
Training and tools for everyone. Goals include: promote news literacy; curb news hoaxes.

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