In an attempt to increase reliability of information, provide digital literacy and aiming to keep people updated with latest news trends around the world, social networking platforms are coming up with in-app news features and educational programmes.
After the spread of fake news stories on Facebook, the networking service platform is now replacing its ‘trending’ feature with ‘Video News Programs’.
While exercising a level of editorial control over news content, Facebook’s video-on-demand service Facebook Watch will soon some up with new news programmes that will include content from some of the trusted news providers like ABC News, CNN, Fox News Channel, Univision, Advance Local, and others.
According to Facebook, the lineup of these shows includes news publishers from broadcast to digital native, both national and local. Award-winning journalists, as well as new faces will host the shows, and the formats will vary from daily briefs and weekly deep dives to live news coverage. The feature will be released later this summer.
While many might not consume news on Facebook, it is a source of significant information for others.
Further, the platform has launched a resource for educators to help them provide digital literacy to young users and build awareness of the online world. “We are launching our digital literacy library, a collection of lessons to help young people think critically and share thoughtfully online. This library is a resource for educators looking to address digital literacy and help young people build the skills they need to safely enjoy digital technology,” Facebook announced.
Not only Facebook, but also other platforms like Snapchat and Twitter are also releasing new news and information based features.
Recently, Snapchat updated its ‘Trending Topics’ feature with providing insight reports, inserting a list of key topics and trends generating discussion among users within the app.
The trends identified could be of key value, to keep up with what is happening around the world and what people are talking about.
On similar lines, Twitter recently chose two academic projects to improve the quality of discussions and limit the impacts of negative elements that are gradually becoming prominent via tweets.
The first project focuses on ‘Examining Echo Chambers and Uncivil Discourse’, which became famous during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections – the success of Donald Trump highlight deep divides in the American society, which many were unaware of.
A part of the reasoning behind this divide might be social media echo chambers that show algorithms about more of what people like, and less of what they don’t. According to the theory, increasing use of social media for news and information sharing works to reinforce perspectives, rather than broadening the conversation.
A group will analyse the echo chamber effect, and provide options on how to limit such impacts.
Another initiative is to examine how people use Twitter, and whether wider exposure to perspectives and backgrounds can decrease prejudice and discrimination. “Evidence from social psychology has shown how communication between people from different backgrounds is one of the best ways to decrease prejudice and discrimination. We’re aiming to investigate how this understanding can be used to measure the health of conversations on Twitter, and whether the effects of positive online interaction carry across to the offline world,” Twitter announced.