Facebook tests satirical news tag to help stop confusion

Facebook is testing a new feature that will tag satirical articles as such, allowing users to know exactly when they are clicking on an article that is based on satire.
By Cliff Mooneyham | Mar 17, 2016
Facebook is testing a new satirical tag that would warn users of articles that are satire rather than based on fact. This tag is likely to end confusion among users who do not know that they are clicking on a satirical article when they are.

"We are running a small test which shows the text '[Satire]' in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units," said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement.

According to Facebook, the addition of the tag will help users differentiate between websites, however they have not said whether smaller sites will also get the tag or not. Currently, only articles from the popular satirical site The Onion receive the tag, and right now it is only "related articles" that get the treatment.

In other words, once a user clicks on an article from the Onion and then returns to Facebook, they will notice three "related articles" that Facebook has generated. If these are also from the Onion, they will be marked as parody.

Facebook is not the first site to mark parody sites. Google News labels all articles from the Onion as parodies in its feed. It is currently unknown as to whether Facebook will take this feature to the next level and start marking other sites, or if it is just a short term test that the social media giant is conducting.

Perhaps this move is an attempt by Facebook to be more transparent with users after public outrage was sparked over the news that Facebook was conducting psychological experiments on its users.

 

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