Facebook wants you to think about whether a headline is true and see other perspectives on the topic before you even read the article. In its next step against fake news, Facebook today begins testing a different version of its Related Articles widget that normally appears when you return to the News Feed after opening a link. Now Faceboook will also show Related Articles including third-party fact checkers before you read an article about a topic that many people are discussing.
Facebook says “That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers.”
Essentially, rather than trying to convince someone that what they just read might be exaggerated, overly biased, or downright false, Facebook wants to raise people’s suspicions before they’re indoctrinated with lies and embellishments. The feature could break you out of your filter bubble before you fall in any deeper.
Facebook says this is just a test, so it won’t necessarily roll out to everyone unless it proves useful. It notes that Facebook Pages should not see a significant change in the reach of their News Feed posts. There will be no ads surfaced in Related Articles.
Some publishers might not be excited about their more well-known competitors potentially hijacking their readers through Related Articles. But as Facebook seeks to fight the scourge of fake news without necessarily becoming the arbiter of truth itself, its best bet may be to expose a range of perspectives about a topic and hope people understand the most outlandish takes might not be worth reading.