Facebook announced today that it has begun notifying users when they are about to post a news article that's more than 90 days old. The warning comes in the form of a new notification screen that reminds users how old a story is, with an option to go back or continue sharing that article anyway.
The company says the goal of the pop-up notification is to provide users more context about what they share on the social networking site. Facebook noted that some users have been passing old articles off as fresh, which may aid in spreading misinformation.
John Hegeman, Vice President of Feed and Stories at Facebook, wrote in a blog post:
"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."
In addition to warning users about outdated articles, Facebook is planning to experiment with other ways to take advantage of notification screens. For example, over the coming months, it will use a notification screen to display more details about the source of a COVID-19-related post. In a similar manner, it will prompt users to visit its COVID-19 Information Center. It remains to be seen how Facebook's new effort can help curb misinformation around the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.