There are tons of advantages to the internet’s endless stream of information, but there’s one major disadvantage that continues to be a huge problem: fake news. It’s everywhere, but it’s most often found on your Facebook News Feed. Who among us doesn’t have that one friend who shares and believes fake news almost every day? These links aren’t just annoying, they can also be really damaging if they gain traction. If you’ve ever wondered who the biggest offenders are, there is now a way to find out which of your friends are sharing #fakenews on Facebook (quick, someone tell Donald Trump!).
On Tuesday, April 3rd, Facebook launched a few feature for U.S. users that will allow you to pinpoint exactly which news is fake and which is legit. It’s actually an extension of an older News Feed update that Facebook has been testing since October 2017.
The feature is easy to use and find: as you scroll through your News Feed, any news story shared will have a small “i” above and to the right of the headline. If you tap that “i,” you’ll see additional information about the article that includes info about the publisher, some related articles, a map to show you where the article has been shared, and a list of friends who have shared that article.
This extra information can help you determine whether the news is fake or not — and if it is, you can also see any friends who have shared it. On the positive side, you’ll be able to discover which friends are sharing great content, and maybe start to check their profiles a little more often. It’s currently in the process of being rolled out, so if you don’t notice it just yet, be patient. It will get to you!
According to Mashable, Facebook is also testing a feature that will allow users to tap an author’s name in Instant Articles for more info on their recent articles. There will even be a button to follow their profile or page, as long as the author allows it.
Facebook has been struggling to fight the influx of fake news since it started to feel like it was taking over the social media site last year. The site has tried a few different features, and this is just the latest.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed less fake news now than you have in the past, and hopefully, things keep going in that direction. While Trump frequently calls real news fake news, making things impossibly confusing, actual fake news can have negative consequences. Misinforming the public for the sake of clickbait and political control needs to end, and hopefully, this feature will keep users more aware.