As part of Facebook’s continued efforts to increase the transparency of their platform and users, the social media giant has introduced a new feature to further build trust within posts on the site.
The context button is now being rolled out to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. Now, when certain publishers post an article on Facebook, users will have the ability to click on an “about this article” button. Within the screen that pops up, users can access the Wikipedia link for the publisher, related articles on the same topic, information on how often and where the piece is being shared around Facebook, the age of the website/domain, and an option to follow the publisher. If the publisher does not have a Wikipedia page, that will be noted, which can itself be a good indicator of context and reliability for an article.
Other features of the context button include a “more from this publisher” option that will bring up a snapshot of articles released from the same publisher, and a “shared by friends” option that shows if any mutual friends have spread the post around.
More tests on the credibility of an article are also being done, particularly around the article’s author. Certain users—right now in the U.S. only, but soon to be expanded elsewhere—will be able to tap the name of an author through Facebook’s Instant Articles view to see more information, including a Wikipedia entry, a follow button for their personal page, and other articles they have recently written. This feature will only pop up if the publisher has enabled author tags.
This new feature is the latest in many efforts by Facebook to help improve their image and fight fake news. In Canada, the social media company has made strides to maintain electoral integrity with several initiatives including increased understanding of digital literacy.