July 23, 2018

Report: Facebook’s New Fake News Tool is Partially Powered By Wikipedia

From Digital Trends:

Facebook is launching new tools to help users better assess news sources — by using the crowdsourced Wikipedia. On Tuesday, April 3, Facebook began rolling out new “About This Article” tools in the U.S. after launching tests last year.

When tapping on the “i” icon, which animates to display About This Article if scrolling pauses over the article, a pop-up shows details about the source. The section leads with the publication’s Wikipedia entry, if there is one. Depending on the information available, those details are followed by related articles, sharing statistics and even a map of where the article has been shared from. For publications that don’t exist on Wikipedia, Facebook will indicate that the information isn’t available, which could be a red flag.

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More From Facebook’s Official Announcement:

When a publisher does not have a Wikipedia entry, we will indicate that the information is unavailable, which can also be helpful context.

In addition to the information included in our original test, we’re introducing two new features that will give readers more context:

  • More From This Publisher, which will give people a quick snapshot of the other recent stories posted by the publisher
  • Shared By Friends, which will show people any of their friends who have shared the article

We’re also starting a test to see whether people find it easier to evaluate the credibility of an article when we provide more information about the article’s author. People in this test will be able to tap an author’s name in Instant Articles to see additional information, including a description from the author’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page or Profile, and other recent articles they’ve published. This information will only display if the publisher has implemented author tags on their website to associate the author’s Page or Profile to the article byline, and the publisher has validated their association to the publisher. This will start as a small test in the US, and we look forward to learning from the results.

See Also: YouTube to Work With Wikipedia to Curb Conspiracy Theories (via Bloomberg; March 13, 2018)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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