Have you ever spent 5 minutes of your precious time to read a news article only to realise the headline barely relates to the content of the story? If you answered yes to this question then chances are you read this story from a Ghanaian news website.
Officials at Facebook have observed that stories from Ghanaian news websites usually have headlines claiming one thing while the content provides little or no evidence to support the claim. Consequently, the social networking site is rolling out a new feature that will warn users of such articles from these Ghanaian news websites.
With this new feature, Facebook will automatically place the tag ‘Misleading headline’ next to such news articles when they appear in a user’s News Feed. “We have introduced this feature after several complains from our Ghanaian users. They have had enough of these poorly-written news stories appearing on their News Feed,” one Facebook official explained.
This is how the tag looks like:
This new Facebook feature has the ability to scan through news stories and detect which ones have headlines that may be considered ‘misleading’. You will notice that the ‘Misleading headline’ tag appears on this myjoyonline.com news story dated 7 September 2014 (above). The story has the headline ‘ Mayor causes arrest of Multimedia journalist,’ yet the content does not confirm the arrest of any journalist. It only confirms the arrest of an individual who is described as the driver of a two-man Multimedia crew covering a story at Mensah Guinea.
Our sources at Facebook also hinted of plans to roll out more tags for Ghanaian media websites. Articles will be tagged ‘Copy and paste’ to alert users that such articles have been wholly copied from other sources without cross-checking the facts of the story or giving due credits. Officials are also debating on whether to slap all stories from peacefmonline.com with a ‘Comedy’ tag or a ‘Do not waste your time reading’ tag.