Facebook Adds Trust Indicators To News Articles In An Effort To Identify Real Journalism

Since the outbreak of its fake news crisis last year, Facebook has announced several initiatives designed to promote authentic, fact-based journalism. Today, the company is rolling out its latest: what Facebook calls a “trust indicator,” an icon that you can tap to learn more about the publisher of articles shared on Facebook.

Trust indicators, which you will see attach to articles shared on Facebook, offer information about publishers including their policies on ethics, fact-checking, and corrections, as well as their ownership structure and their masthead. Facebook said it will begin with a small group of publishers and expand over time.

“We believe that helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible,” Facebook said in a statement.

This step is part of our larger efforts to combat false news and misinformation on Facebook — providing people with more context to help them make more informed decisions, advance news literacy and education, and working to reinforce indicators of publisher integrity on our platform.”

The introduction of trust indicators follows a move last month to introduce other contextual information into shared articles, including a basic description of the publisher, and other articles about the subject. The indicators were developed by the Trust Project, an international consortium of news organizations hosted by Santa Clara University. The organization’s funders include Google and Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.

Google, Bing and Twitter have all committed to displaying these indicators, though not all implementations are yet live.

On Google, the Trust Indicators will appear within Google News, Google Search, and in other Google products where news is found, the company explained in a blog post today. However, Google says it’s still determining how exactly the Indicators will be displayed.


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