17 August 2020
Facebook is one of those social media platforms where users are not limited to sharing their own posts, photos, and videos. They can even share articles from the web that they think others should read. This functionality has its own cons like every other service and one of them is that users end up sharing outdated articles at times which can result in the spreading of misinformation.
In an attempt to reduce such occurrences, Facebook has announced that it will start alerting users if they will be sharing an article over 90 days old i.e. three months. It will show a pop-up saying, "This article is over 3 months old" and thus making the publishing time quite clear. There will be two options called Continue and Go Back and a user will be free to choose any of the two.
While Facebook would want you to click the second option to avoid sharing the article, it will also be possible for users to avoid the warning and "continue". The latter would be useful when an article will still make sense despite it being at least months since it got published. It actually depends on the content of the article whether something is too old to share with others. This approach is similar to what Twitter announced about a couple of weeks ago.
In an official blog post, Facebook said,
"Over the past several months, our internal research found that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people decide what to read, trust and share. News publishers in particular have expressed concerns about older stories being shared on social media as current news, which can misconstrue the state of current events."
It is only the beginning as the team is working on introducing more such labels to make people aware of the context. As of now, it is thinking of offering a label for news related to COVID-19 that will mention the news source as well as a link to the COVID-19 Information Center for official details.