Facebook testing new feature to host city-specific local news

Posted January 12, 2018

One of the project's most important mandates is combating fake news, and the promotion of legitimate local news sources appears to be part of this battle (Facebook is vetting local news publishers who will end up in the section).

The new section of this fascinating app is called "Today In", a feed that would wholly feature local news, events, and announcements.

The section will be powered by a mix of machine learning software and human workers used to surface the local content. Facebook news partnership team will approve local news publishers after testing their authenticity.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is calling this feature "Today In" and testing it in select markets.

The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January a year ago to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

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Recently, social media has been heavily criticized for being a real catalyst for the way "fake news" spreads. Why?

The social network also announced last month that it has started demoting engagement bait posts from the users' news feed.

The social networking firm wants to expand this app to more cities and then other countries gradually. The feature will be available for users through the bottom-right menu button on Facebook.

In an effort to up its signal to noise ratio, Facebook may go local. The social network has been trying to weed out misinformation and hoaxes on the news feed, and has tried using third-party fact checkers to curb the problem. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.