No matter your political persuasion, the phrase “fake news” is one of the most insufferable—especially if you have a few “Won’t somebody think of the children?”-esque friends who are always filling up your Facebook News Feed with reasons why humanity is doomed.
Between that, and your other Facebook friends jumping in to tell them how full of shit they are, we don’t blame you for wanting to take a Facebook break from time to time.
It’s easy to silence (or block) these people when they pop up, but what if you want to go a little deeper? What if you want to rid yourself of everyone who has an affinity for sharing crappy articles on Facebook? Thanks to a new Facebook feature, you can do just that.
How to get more information about articles you view on Facebook
Whenever someone links out to an article from Facebook—like a news article from a hyper-political site that you think is garbage—you’ll be able to view more information about the article and its publisher (if available). Just look for the little “i” icon in the bottom-right corner of the article’s image.
Click or tap it, and you’ll get a brief bio about the publisher as well as links to additional articles from them. In some cases, you’ll be able to see how many shares an article has and where in the world people are generally sharing the article (on a giant map, no less).
Most importantly, you’ll be able to see which of your friends are sharing the same content. This will make it much easier to identify groups of people who create a kind of sharing feedback loop whenever one posts something to fan the Facebook flames. You can then go ahead and unfollow (or unfriend) them all en masse. Ah, blissful silence.
If you’re lucky, you might also be able to learn a bit more about the article’s author, which can help you decide whether it’s legitimate content that you want to see in your News Feed … or not. As Facebook’s post notes:
“We’re also starting a test to see whether people find it easier to evaluate the credibility of an article when we provide more information about the article’s author. People in this test will be able to tap an author’s name in Instant Articles to see additional information, including a description from the author’s Wikipedia entry, a button to follow their Page or Profile, and other recent articles they’ve published. This information will only display if the publisher has implemented author tags on their website to associate the author’s Page or Profile to the article byline, and the publisher has validated their association to the publisher. This will start as a small test in the US, and we look forward to learning from the results.”
If Facebook’s “information” feature looks familiar, that’s because the company actually started beta testing the feature in October of last year. Now, everyone in the U.S. will get a chance to learn more about what they’re reading—and who keeps sharing stupid content.