Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news

Facebook is testing a new section to emphasize local news

The most widely used social network, Facebook is testing a new feature in its platform. The new section will be called "Today In", which will comprise of local news, events, and announcements.

In an effort to up its signal to noise ratio, Facebook may go local.

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. From what has been revealed, Facebook is now conducting the test in a handful of cities around the United States - New Orleans, Louisiana; Olympia, Washington; Billings, Montana; Binghamton, New York; Peoria, Illinois and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Facebook's News Partnerships team is spearheading the experiment, employing both human curators and machine learning to populate the content in the new sections.

The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January previous year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

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This features is launched after the company has faced fake news issue.

But, the question that cuts through is will this section benefit the local publishers, or not?

The company is now testing the feature in 6 states of the US.

According to a statement by Facebook's official, the new section of its app will be dedicated to local publishers and organizations and will feature news stories and events from a selected community or a region.

There's no word yet on when the feature will roll out to all USA cities. The social network has been trying to weed out misinformation and hoaxes on the news feed, and has tried using third-party fact checkers to curb the problem.

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