There's no denying that fake news has become a problem in today's society. Whether it's affecting the election or just generally mucking up your newsfeed, misinformation has begun to spread like wildfire in the digital age. Social media, in all its popular glory, has made the problem infinitely worse by allowing the unabated sharing of articles from sites that would be considered dubious by the most generous of sources. Fortunately, Facebook has making a small change that could help solve the problem its trending section has created.
That's right, Facebook has decided to add publisher logos next to articles in Trending and Search surfaces on the popular social media platform as part of their ongoing efforts to combat fake news. The goal is to make more reputable sources recognizable, while deterring users from relying on less than legitimate websites for their news needs.
“By surfacing publisher logos next to article links, we want to make it easier for publishers to extend their brand identity on Facebook–to enhance people's awareness of the source of content they see on Facebook, so they can better decide what to read and share,” wrote Andrew Anker, a product manager at Facebook in an email to TechCo.
As the post goes on to say, this is just the beginning. Facebook plans to make publisher logos part of the entire platform, which will make things infinitely easier to spot unsourced articles with sensational headlines before you click and share. In addition to quelling these unsavory sharers, the move could also help alleviate the embarrassment of treating a satirical article as fact, something everyone has done at least once on the popular social media platform.
This is, for all intents and purposes, a step in the right direction. Obviously, this move won't stop fake news in its tracks, but it will add another layer of defense against these egregious peddlers of false information. And, at this point in the game, all you can really do is keep marching in the right direction.