Facebook is currently engaged in testing a new feature where it will have city-specific local news, events, and announcements available on its platform.
According to CNET, the test is currently live for a new section called “Today In” in six US cities. The users from those selected cities will be able to access the feature through the bottom-right menu button on Facebook.
The feature “Today In” has been powered by a machine learning (ML) software, assisting a team find local content. Local news publishers will be approved by Facebook’s News Partnerships team.
The strategy comes shortly after Facebook announced its Journalism Project back in January last year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news collaborations. Last year, Facebook also tested products to connect its users to local news.
Facebook’s decision of stepping into local news publishing segment comes at a time when the social networking giant is scrambling to fix the problem of misinformation and fake news on its platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also expressed his concern talking about his ‘New Year Challenge’, he said that this year he will focus on dealing with abuse and hate, fake news or interference by nation-states on the platform.
The social networking giant was using all possible tools to combat the problem of fake news. These tools include machine learning, third-party partnerships for fact-checking initiatives, keeping tabs when the source is credible, as per stated by Facebook’s Director of News Alexandra Hardiman.