Fake News is the arch enemy to Mark Zuckerberg’s digital superhero, Facebook. The company has now revoked the ability to overwrite link metadata for non-publishers to eliminate the possibility of click bait and misleading news articles.
To arrest the rampant spread of fake news stemming from unscrupulous Pages that overwrite link metadata falsely, headlines, description, image etc will no longer be modifiable from the Graph API or Page composer. Last month, the social network had also removed the ability to modify shared link previews on Facebook.
Publishers who share links from their own website shall enjoy some exemption as Facebook will let them specify the domains they own and will allow them to modify the link previews and overwrite link metadata. For more queries, you can visit the Facebook Help Center here.
Although, Facebook will be monitoring any misuse from Page owners who modify their own links from owned domains through misrepresentation, spam or violating the Facebook Community standards in any way. Such Pages will stand to lose their access to overwrite metadata for links from their own domain.
Using Facebook’s Open Graph tags and Sharing Debugger, publishers can still program and preview their links to check how they will appear on Facebook.
“We’re first rolling this feature out to publishers, including news, sports and entertainment Pages, because we’ve found that many of these Page types modify links to their own articles at scale.” Alex Hardiman, Product Manager at the company writes.
Facebook is being very specific and not allowing any sources to play fast and loose with their platform since the social network’s role in society and their staggering influence over people has been admitted by the company. They have taken responsibility to prevent their platform from becoming festered with fake news and hearsay.
“Methods like this and the many recent News Feed algorithm changes Facebook has made allow it to promote the truth without having to police the lies directly. That strategy could prevent it from drawing criticism for favoring one side of the political spectrum over another.” Josh Constine from TechCrunch appears positive.
“Over the next few months we will learn how this content customization tool works for publishers and improves the quality of information on Facebook, and we’ll iterate based on feedback.” Alex Hardiman signs off.