Facebook News is now available to users in the US – here’s what it looks like
The feature is rolling out to US users now.
Facebook rolled its new News tab out to a selected few, way back in October of last year, and now it’s rolling out to… a slightly larger selection of people, starting with the United States. This tab has sections for general news, topical, diverse, and local news, all from a carefully curated list from a staff of journalists paid by Facebook to do so.
Is it trustworthy? Who knows? Facebook has a terrible track record for keeping misinformation off its platform, but all of the publishers involved have to follow Facebook’s rules on integrity, fact-checking and maintaining Facebook’s own community standards. Wait, doesn’t that sound like Facebook wants the publishers to do Facebook’s moderation for them, so the social site doesn’t have to be the “arbiter of truth…”
Anyway, if you still insist on getting your news from a site that’s repeatedly shown that it doesn’t actually care about the truth, here’s what it looks like.
Here’s what it looks like:
It’s a one-tap from the home screen inside the Facebook app to get into the new News tab, where you’ll be met with a feed of important news stories, and a horizontal list of subsections. Those include Top News, common topical areas such as Sports or Science, a tab for Local News for your area, and occasional dedicated tabs based on important happenings, such as the George Floyd Protests.
You can tap the “…” on any news story to see more options to fine-tune your feed, such as hiding the individual article or even hiding every story from that source. You can even give feedback to say if the article is relevant to you, which should start filtering out similar stories in the future.
You can set your city for more localized news, so if you live in a small town like Josiah you can pick the closest larger city and actually get some news, instead of just the weather. You can even set the feed to only show you the articles curated by Facebook’s AI, and not those chosen by the paid journalists. I’m not quite sure why you can’t turn the AI off and just read the human-curated list, surely that would make more sense if Zuckerberg is actually serious about weeding out fake news and propaganda.
While this new tab is a welcome addition, it does nothing about fake news being shared on individual feeds. Maybe the idea is that once a fact-checked section is available, more people will share those stories instead. One can hope…
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