Facebook has confirmed that it is hiring a team of veteran journalists to help curate the News Tab section of its mobile app slated for testing later this year.
The social media giant said that the team will deal with breaking news and top stories, but that they will not be responsible for other editing headlines and stories as well as writing content.
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, said in a statement that the News Tab’s goal is to “provide a personalised, highly relevant experience for people”.
“The majority of stories people will see will appear in the tab via algorithmic selection. To start, for the Top News section of the tab, we’re pulling together a small team of journalists to ensure we’re highlighting the right stories,” she said.
The Wall Street Journal in turn claimed that Facebook had already contacted a spate of news outlets, including The Washington Post and Bloomberg, to discuss licensing content for a whopping $3 million due to be paid annually to these publishers.
Earlier, a whole array of major tech companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat, moved to rely on experienced journalists in order to present the news.
Facebook Fighting Misinformation
As far as Facebook is concerned, the decision is thought to reflect the social media’s latest efforts to tackle the spread of misinformation on its site, including posts pertaining to the 2020 US presidential election.
Earlier, Facebook announced that it will be ban ads that discourage people from voting before the 2020 election as well as any content that misrepresents the US Census in a way that prevents minority communities from participating in the survey, which is conducted every 10 years.
“With both the US Census and the US presidential elections, 2020 will be [a] big year. An accurate census count is crucial to governments for functions like distributing federal funds and to businesses and researchers,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a blog post, adding that it will be introducing a new policy in the fall “that protects against misinformation related to the census.”