Social media is mostly about updates, and re-sharing those updates. Avid users know that the best.
However, in the fast-moving world of information that happens on the web, information can get outdated pretty quickly. And when re-sharing posts that are months old for example, can sometimes create confusion, or annoyance to others. This is what Facebook is trying to solve.
The social media giant is rolling out a feature that will warn users before they share an article that is more than 90 days old.
It should be noted that the feature doesn't really prevent user from sharing those old posts. Facebook merely shows a notification.
This is because sometimes, old news can still be relevant. And Facebook is certainly not going to really stop users from sharing things that matter on the web, despite they are probably years old.
On the announcement, Facebook said that:
"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. Some news publishers have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labeling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways."
Back in 2018, Facebook added the context button, which provides users the necessary information about the sources of articles in their News Feed.
This update is simply a feature that is built on top of that.
Facebook knows that its platform has become a one-stop place for many of its users to get news updates.
"When we ask people what kind of news they want to see on Facebook, they continually tell us they want information that is timely and credible." Unfortunately, readers of the web tend to no read articles lines by lines, let alone seeing their dates.
As a result, old news can ruin the facts that newer news are trying to provide. In other words, old news that resurfaced can mean fake news by others.
This is also one of the ways the social media giants is taking as a more proactive approach to fighting disinformation.
It can be considered a wise decision, especially as the U.S.’ general election rapidly approaches.
"Over the next few months, we will also test other uses of notification screens," added Facebook.
"For posts with links mentioning COVID-19, we are exploring using a similar notification screen that provides information about the source of the link and directs people to the COVID-19 Information Center for authoritative health information. Through providing more context, our goal is to make it easier for people to identify content that’s timely, reliable and most valuable to them."