Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) introduced a popup notification that will warn uses when they are about to share content that is over three months old. The new feature will give Facebook users the option of going back or clicking through if they still want to share the story even if it is out-dated.
New feature discourages sharing of out-dated content
The social media company acknowledged that sharing of out-dated stories out of the original context forms part of the spreading of misinformation. Facebook indicated that news publishers have concerns regarding the sharing of old stories as if they are breaking news. For instance, the company indicated that a terrorist attack post from years back can be recirculated as though it is a recent occurrence that Facebook indicated can misinform.
Facebook VP of Stories and Feed John Hegeman indicated in a blog that in recent months the company’s internal research established that an article’s timeline is very important. This is because it can help users to decide whether to trust it, read, and share.
Companies are also implementing features discouraging disinformation
Interestingly Facebook is not the only company following this path. In 2019 The Guardian began adding publication date on thumbnails of past articles shared on social media sites. The Guardian’s editorial innovation head Chris Moran indicated that having such a feature will make it difficult to spin an old occurrence as a current event.
The popup screen notification is an outgrowth of several other notifications that Facebook has been piloting in recent times. It comes at a time when various social media networks are trying various prompts to inspire users to transform their posting and interactions.
Last year, Facebook’s photo-sharing app, Instagram, introduced a similar popup screen notification discouraging users from sharing abusive or offensive comments. The company indicated that preliminary results with the pilot were encouraging, and the feature was transforming how users interact. Facebook says it will consider other features in the fight against disinformation.