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Facebook is testing its new Trust Indicators to combat fake news

The Trust Indicator initiative was first announced by the company earlier this year and is just one way the social media giant is trying to get a handle on all the fake news that gets spread on its site. Beginning today, Facebook will begin to test Trust Indicators “with a small group of publishers” with an expansion coming over the coming months. The way the program works is publishers will now have the ability to add information about their ethics policy, corrections policy, fact-checking policy, ownership structure, and masthead via their Page Publishing Tools. The various indicators will then be displayed on articles shared via the social network, and users can click on any indicator to find out more about the publisher.

Of course, questions remain: like what stops a fake news publisher from not just lying about their various indicators? But perhaps that’s why Facebook is rolling this test out slowly–and with only select, known publishers at this time. In a statement, Facebook said:

We believe that helping people access this important contextual information can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible. This step is part of our larger efforts to combat false news and misinformation on Facebook–providing people with more context to help them make more informed decisions, advance news literacy and education, and working to reinforce indicators of publisher integrity on our platform.

MG