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article imageFacebook's new info button lets you check a page's reputation

By James Walker     Oct 6, 2017 in Technology
Facebook has started a trial of a new button meant to help combat fake news. The small "more info" link lets you view information about a story's publisher, giving you context on the articles they post. The details are sourced from external sites.
Writing in a newsroom post, Facebook said the button has been designed based on feedback from publishers and the community. The button will start showing up for some users as a circular "i" control in the bottom-right of News Feed articles.
When you tap the button, you'll be shown a small overlay providing information about the article and the page that posted it. You can read a short description of the organisation that's taken from an external provider. There's also a feed of related articles, information about how the content is being shared and a link to follow the publisher on Facebook.
Facebook reckons that giving you more information about a story's publisher could help you appreciate its context before you tap the link. The company has been ramping up its efforts to better inform News Feed users as part of its attempts to fend off fake news. This is another way in which Facebook intends to empower you by giving you warning if a post might not be authentic.
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"Helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible," said Facebook. "This is just the beginning of the test. We'll continue to listen to people's feedback and work with publishers to provide people easy access to the contextual information that helps people decide which stories to read, share, and trust, and to improve the experiences people have on Facebook."
The button also has another, unstated purpose. It lets Facebook keep you trapped on its platform, even when you're trying to research whether it's hosting inaccurate content. Instead of switching to Google to search for a publisher, you can just tap the button and get info without leaving the app. You may even stay on Facebook for longer if you proceed to read a story listed in "Related Articles."
The feature is currently being tested with a small number of Facebook mobile users. There's no word yet on when it will roll out more widely. Facebook said that Pages shouldn't notice any distribution changes as a result of the addition but reiterated its calls for publishers to only post content that's "relevant and informative."
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