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Facebook to fight fake news by restricting changes to link previews

Previously, publishers could edit and modify preview links in posts, leading to spread of fake news.

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Facebook has long been fighting the spread of fake news, and in recent times has taken multiple steps to restrict fake news sharing on its site. The latest change cracks down on the publishers’ ability to modify the headline and description of a shared link. Until now, Facebook had given publishers the freedom to edit and modify all elements of a post — right from the display image to the headline and the preview. But quite a few have misused this facility to instead use click-bait to force users to click even on fake news links. Also Read - Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account can get deleted if you do this

Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!

Right from the image to the headline or the preview link, none of the elements can be modified anymore. This means publishers will either have to exercise caution in giving headlines originally, or simply not share the link on Facebook. This will warn users if the news if a fake news or an actual one. The restrictions are applicable to all pages where they cannot modify the previews of the links they post on Facebook. With the exception of some leading publishers with a completely clean track record, all other publishers will be covered under the change. The change is already active, and most publishers can see it on their pages. Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?

However, for the trusted publishers, Facebook has rolled out a new tab under Page Publishing Tools, where publishers can claim the link ownership and continue editing preview links. Initially, the change has been rolled out to news, sports and entertainment publishers as it is across these three segments that maximum news modification and click-baiting is used. Taking into account the response, this feature will soon be expanded to other publishers as well. However, if any publishers misuse this ability, Facebook will instantly roll back the feature, and restrict the privileges. ALSO READ: WhatsApp facing partial blocks in China: Report

Talking about the change, Facebook said, “This tool is another step we re taking to limit the spread of false news on Facebook. We re committed to supporting publisher workflows, while limiting malicious misrepresentations of underlying link content. As always, we recommend publishers follow our publisher principles as basic guideposts to reach their audience on Facebook.Over the next few months we will learn how this content customization tool works for publishers and improves the quality of information on Facebook, and we ll iterate based on feedback.” ALSO READ: Twitter ranked most-preferred social media platform for B2B marketing, Instagram for image-based content: Report

The pages can apply for an exemption, and the last date for application is September 2017. Depending on previous records, Facebook will either grant the same or continue to restrict the rights of the pages to modify content. The feature is not completely unannounced as Facebook did hint at restricting page modifications during its F8 conference earlier this year. ALSO READ: Facebook putting ads on all its platforms for revenue: Report

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  • Published Date: July 19, 2017 2:15 PM IST
  • Updated Date: July 19, 2017 2:24 PM IST



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