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Facebook’s latest idea to combat fake news is a ‘more info’ button

The button is similar to how Google scrapes results that show up within Google. Meaning in this case, it keeps you glued to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg Delivers Keynote Address At Facebook F8 Conference Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook has another idea to combat fake news — it’s going to start showing users more info about where their news is coming from.

As part of a News Feed update, the social network will now provide more context around the links people see. Users will be able to click a button and see information from the publisher’s Wikipedia page, a link to follow that publisher’s Facebook Page, and other links that might be related.

Facebook will do this all automatically, which means humans won’t be compiling this additional information. The hope is that people will use the info to better understand where their news is coming from, and won’t be fooled by phony or ill-intentioned publishers.

Facebook is still dealing with the aftermath of last year’s presidential election, in which Pages tied to Russia used the platform to spread misinformation to U.S. voters. Facebook has been scrambling all year to stop fake news, and Thursday’s update is the latest in a string of them.

Of course, readers need to care enough about where their information is coming from to actually click the button Facebook is offering up. Facebook doesn’t take down “news” it finds to be inaccurate, it just labels it as “disputed.” The company has ultimately left it up to readers to determine what to believe and what to ignore.

But a recent study out of Yale found that disputed label hasn’t helped sway many users’ opinions.

Update: Adam Mosseri, the product exec in charge of Facebook’s News Feed, says that in addition to labeling disputed stories, the company will also “down-rank stories that have been disputed by third party fact checkers significantly.”

Facebook has been criticized in the past for not taking more direct action against the misinformation campaigns that take advantage of Facebook’s deep targeting capabilities. This latest move doesn’t address that concern.

Separately, there’s a bonus for Facebook here. Putting all this information on Facebook means users don’t need to leave to go find it elsewhere on the web. Google does something similar, providing lots of information for each web search right at the top, giving you less reason to go anywhere else.

Facebook says this is just a test for a small group of users. As always, if it goes well, it’ll roll out to more people in the future.

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