Facebook tests augmenting article links with publisher info from Wikipedia

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Facebook is continuing its efforts to give people more context about what they read on the social network as part of an attempt to stem the spread of fake news.

In a test starting today, Facebook will add context to article links appearing in people’s news feeds by attaching information about the publisher that’s pulled from sources like the publisher’s Wikipedia page, the company announced on Thursday. A Facebook spokesperson has yet to answer a question about how Facebook is able to identify whether a link shared on the social network corresponds with an article versus a non-article web page.

To access this information, people will need to tap a button that will appear above and to the right of the link’s headline, labeled “i.” Tapping the button will pop up an “About This Article” overlay that will carry the contextual information.

The Wikipedia-sourced publisher description will only appear when one is available. That will also be the case with other information that Facebook may use to augment an article. For example, if the article’s topic is trending on Facebook, then Facebook will feature other trending articles in the pop-up box. And if there are Related Articles available for a given article, then Facebook will include those. Facebook may also add information about how an article is being shared, such as a heat map plotting where the article was shared the most.


About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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