Facebook is add additional labels for posts from pages that appear in users’ news feeds to reduce confusion about their origin. These labels include ‘public official’, ‘fan page’ and ‘satire page’. The company says it has already started testing the implementation of these labels in the US and will gradually add them more posts.
Facebook has not provided any explanation as to why it is adding these labels, but identifying satire seems particularly important. Check out the social shares for news articles written by well-known satirical sites such as The onion or The Babylon Bee and you will see many people taking these stories before their eyes. In such a context, these messages are essentially some kind of misinformation, even if the creators did not intend to. Even high-profile figures such as former President Donald Trump have these stories are mistaken for real reports.
Starting today in the US, we are testing a way to give people more context about the pages they see. We will gradually start applying labels, including ‘public official’, ‘fan page’ or ‘satire page’, to posts in the news feed so that people can better understand who they are from. pic.twitter.com/Bloc3b2ycb
– Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) April 7, 2021
This isn’t the first time the social network giant has tried to clarify the context of news feed posts. In June last year, it began labeling media outlets that are “wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government.” Such outlets need labels, Facebook argued, because “ they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state, and we believe people should know if the news they are reading is from a publication that may be under the influence of a state. government. “