Before You Share an Article, Facebook Will Tell You If it's Old News

Facebook will notify you if the article you’re about to share is more than 90 days old, the company said on June 25.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, this notification would warn users if the link they’re sharing is more than 3 months old. New information about the respiratory disease are made available daily, and outdated information could easily be perceived as new and still accurate, even when it is not.

Facebook Vice President John Hegeman said that the social networking site aims to direct users to “authoritative” information on COVID-19.

If the link you’re posting mentions COVID-19, Facebook plans to show a "notification screen that provides information about the source of the link and directs people to the COVID-19 Information Center for authoritative health information," Hegeman said.

This move would help users cut through the noise to “identify content that's timely, reliable and most valuable to them,” the statement said.

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According to Hegeman, Facebook’s “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.”

Should you decide to share that old article, you still can—but only after deciding it’s still relevant to you after being told it’s old.

"To ensure people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what to share on Facebook, the notification screen will appear when people click the share button on articles older than 90 days, but will allow people to continue sharing if they decide an article is still relevant," he said.

Main image fom Kon Karampelas on Unsplash.

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