If you’re one of the nearly 2 billion people active on Facebook, you’ve probably experienced Facebook’s fake news epidemic. We have good news: fake news on Facebook is taking a hit from the platform’s recent API change. And for good reason.
A recent study shows 62% of adults in the United States get their news on social media, making fake news a great cause for concern. And Facebook felt the pressure to crack down on the culprits — especially due to major international elections. In April, Facebook targeted and removed 30,000 fake accounts in France before the country’s presidential election. They focused on “removing the accounts with the largest footprint, with a high amount of activity and a broad reach” according to Facebook’s security manager, Shabnam Shaik. But, with billions of users, the purge in France wasn’t enough.
Facebook fake news change
On June 28, 2017, Facebook announced they were removing the ability to customize link metadata, including the headline, description, and image. By removing customization abilities from all link sharing entry points, Facebook is eliminating a practice abused to post fake news. This change went live on July 18, 2017 and is part of their continued efforts to stop the spread of misinformation.
How the change impacts marketers and other publishers
We can all agree that this API change to modifying link previews supports the greater good for all Facebook users. But, this still impacts some publishers (and marketers) who relied on metadata modifications to optimize their posts. Don’t worry — Facebook doesn’t want those users to suffer on behalf of the fake news culprits. The Facebook team worked with publishers to understand why this feature is important and are working to find other solutions. A new way for publishers and marketers to share customized content will be shared in the coming weeks. Until then, we hope you enjoy a Facebook feed with fewer fake news posts.
Thanks, Facebook! We were fed up with fake news, too. And we love working with clients to be (honest) and successful on the platform. Need help with your organic or paid Facebook strategy? Drop us a line.