Facebook's new context button

For the last couple of years, Facebook has had a big problem regarding Fake news spreading everywhere around their social network. When I talk about problem I really mean it. For a while it has completely gotten out of hand.  These rumours not only affected Facebook but Whatsapp and many other Social Networks.

As a developer, I personally believe that it is the duty of these social networks - elite websites that are the  technological spearhead of social interactions nowadays - have the moral obligation to fight against this sort of information. Not only because we - as developers - owe to place our knowledge into the hands of users and consumers in the best possible way, but also because it can also affect facebook's hability to make business. 

Enter - the context button

The reason why I wanted to write this blog entry is because the social network launched a "Context button" back in April of US users. The functionality allowed the user to  stop and verify information about the website, discover when was the website created, an analysis of the source as well as ease to discover if the source is a valid reliable source or something like Info Wars.

This button was tested first and as it has demonstrated it works, it has been progressively been introduced into other countries such as UK, Canada, Australia  Brasil.. And it was  only recently (YESTERDAY) that Facebook announced this new button would start showing up in Spain, Italy ,Germany and France.

I, for one, am very happy and excited to give this context button a try. Spain - as many other countries - suffers heavily from false information being spread.

verifying a story

As you can check on the video above, pushing the button doesn't only offer a short description of the source, but also how old the website is and the domain name that is storing that information. This is key and very valuable information since most of the fake news that run around the planet  are based and planted by ad-hoc websites that orient the public opinion in one way or another. I'm guessing this context button will help the social network prevent disasters such as the one that occurred with Facebook's Cambridge Analityca.

Another one of the features of this button is that it allows you to quickly check other publications shared recently from that website, as well as the friends that have posted links to the same information.  (Only if this website has implemented the required code so that it shows up in the Facebook Description, but I guess, as usual, this will gradually grow.

Developing a tool like this

is not easy at all. Facebook has worked with users and digital media content distributors to try to put an end to this big problem that is engulfing not only Facebook, but also Twitter, Instagram and even big media corporations that are finding it increasingly difficult to separate truth from false in these stories. Of course they are! It's not an easy solution, but it's nice to know that people are starting to take action.

I'd like you , my reader, to make a small mind exercise. If you were in charge of facebook or one of the many digital newspapers around, How would you prevent the spread of false information? Would you filter everything that came in or out of the platform? Or would you provide tools to help users discover this by themselves? As always, share, like and comment below! 

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