Latest in Gear

Image credit: Facebook

Facebook's expanded local news strategy includes government alerts

The test would alert you to natural disasters, school closures and more.
317 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Facebook

Facebook is expanding its efforts to promote local news, and this now includes potentially vital information. The social network has started testing local alerts from both government bodies and first responders, including both notifications as well as labels in your News Feed and the Today In section. If there's a school closure or an impending natural disaster, you might find out about it before you check local news sites.

The initial test involves "over 100" government and first responder Pages, and will be capped at 35 alerts over a rolling 30-day period to prevent overuse. Also, Facebook is adamant that this isn't meant to replace conventional emergency alerts. It's there as an additional, more convenient source of information.

You should also find the Today In section in more places. It's available in 400 cities in the US and just launched in Australia, but you'll now see Facebook test the feature in "news deserts" where there are few sources of local information. In these places, you'll see the company supplement what local news there is with material from surrounding regions. Think of it as local-ish news.

The expansion is part of Facebook's larger strategy to fight fake news, in this case by promoting local news and other, more trustworthy sources of information. Whether or not it works isn't clear (a lot of this is voluntary), but it might just encourage local engagement at a time when national news tends to dominate the media landscape.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
317 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
The Switch needs more Saturn games like ‘Panzer Dragoon’

The Switch needs more Saturn games like ‘Panzer Dragoon’

View
Tencent's own battle royale game has hackable zombies

Tencent's own battle royale game has hackable zombies

View
Researchers discover climate-friendly way of extracting hydrogen from oil

Researchers discover climate-friendly way of extracting hydrogen from oil

View
Dell's XPS 13 now comes with the latest Intel 10th-gen processors

Dell's XPS 13 now comes with the latest Intel 10th-gen processors

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr