Last month, Facebook began testing a feature that provides additional context to articles found in the social media platform’s News Feed. Links to articles shared in News Feed would feature an icon that users can tap on for additional information, including a description of the publisher, related articles about the topic and more.
Now, Facebook says it’s looking to take this one step further by testing new ‘Trust Indicators‘ to help users understand which publishers are credible. The Trust Indicators are established by the Trust Project, an international consortium of news and digital companies working toward a more trusted press.
Facebook says the Trust Indicators are the result of feedback given to its Facebook Journalism Project, the company’s news media and literacy support initiative.
According to Facebook, the Trust Indicators are initially only going to be tested with a small group of publishers, although a broader expansion is set to happen “over the coming months.”
With Trust Indicators, publishers can now upload links to additional information through their Brand Asset Library under their Page Publishing Tools. This can include information on subjects like their ethics policy, corrections policy, fact-checking policy, masthead and ownership structure.
The indicators will then appear as additional context in the articles that regular users see in News Feed. Facebook says these initial Trust Indicators are based on “direct feedback from publishers,” with an expanded set of tools to be offered over time.
More details on the Trust Indicators can be found here.
Facebook also recently confirmed that a ‘View Ads’ feature is making its way to the platform this month, in order to help with accountability and transparency. Specifically, View Ads will help Facebook users learn more about the advertiser, who the ad is intended for, and more.
All of Facebook’s efforts to improve the quality of content on its platform follow an extensive investigation into how the company played a role in shaping the November 2016 U.S. election. Facebook faced significant criticism for helping to spread numerous ads centred on divisive subjects such as immigration and LGBT rights.
Ultimately, the company admitted that — in an operation likely based out of Russia — these inflammatory posts reached 126 million Facebook users. Millions of similarly provocative posts were also shared on other social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube.
For its part, Facebook says it’s working to prevent such outside political influence from happening in Canada, as experts have warned is likely to happen. Specifically, the company is partnering with Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) cyber spy agency to help maintain integrity in the 2019 federal election.