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Facebook has found a head of news products to help fight its false news problem

Alex Hardiman, formerly of the New York Times, has been promoted internally to take the job.

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

Facebook made an important hire in its effort to curb false news.

The company has promoted Alex Hardiman, formerly of the New York Times, to its new head of news products role. The job means Hardiman will work with publishers to create news features, and also try to stop the proliferation of false news on the service.

Recode reported last month that the company was looking to hire for the role but was running into trouble finding someone with both editorial and technical experience.

Hardiman fits the bill, apparently. She joined Facebook last summer from the Times, where she was leading mobile and news products like the publication’s mobile news app, according to her Facebook post.

Now she’ll work with publishers to help build “storytelling formats,” like Facebook’s Instant Articles product, and will also try to “continue curbing the spread of false news” on Facebook, she wrote.

The false news issues at the company have been a major point of discussion since last fall’s presidential election. Just last week, Facebook issued a report that confirmed that “malicious actors” tried to game its algorithm during the election to negatively influence the public perception of one of the candidates (presumed to be Hillary Clinton). Hiring a head of news product adds to the company’s admission that it can do a much better job of preventing false news from gaining traction on the network.

Hardiman will start her new role in June, and work in Facebook’s New York office under Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP in charge of news and video.

Reunited with news, and it feels so good. Friends - I wanted to share an update on my Facebook adventures so far and...

Posted by Alex Hardiman on Monday, May 1, 2017

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