Facebook testing local news section on its platform

Facebook testing local news section on its platform

Facebook testing local news section on its platform

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

There are no plans yet for an worldwide test, despite the new product launching as Facebook, along with other technology platforms such as Google, faces increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies across the world.

The company is testing a new area of its app called "Today In", a mix of city-specific events, announcements and local news. Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. will now have access to a new section, called "Today In [city name]".

Recode notes that Facebook intends to expand "Today In" to other cities as it tests the feature out.

The project is a part of the company's Journalism Project initiative, which was launched at the time of presidential elections in 2016, because it was facing inspection for fake news stories being published on the platform before the 2016 election. In his "New Year Challenge" CEO?Mark Zuckerberg said that this year he will focus on dealing with abuse and hate, fake news or interference by nation-states on the platform.

A company spokesperson was adamant in an email to Quartz that the section will be an addition to local news shared in the News Feed, likely because of publisher fears that they will be booted out of the feed. The feature will be available for users through the bottom-right menu button on Facebook. The users will get to go through local news on their go. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.

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