How Facebook’s Efforts to Combat Fake News Will Affect Link Previews From Publishers

Non-publisher pages can no longer overwrite link metadata

The next battleground in Facebook’s war against fake news is the link previews on shared posts from publishers.

Product manager for news Alex Hardiman announced in a blog post that non-publisher pages can no longer overwrite link metadata—such as headlines, descriptions and images—in Graph API or page composer.

Hardiman said Facebook took this step to “help eliminate a channel that has been abused to post false news,” adding that impacted pages can still program and preview how their link attachments will be displayed on the social network via Open Graph tags or Facebook’s Sharing Debugger.

Facebook is also adding a tab to its page publishing tools, where publishers that rely on overwriting link preview metadata in order to customize how their content appears on the social network can indicate link ownership and continue to edit their links. More information is available here.

Hardiman said the new tab is being rolled out to publishers such as news, entertainment and sports pages because they typically modify links to their own articles at scale, and she warned that pages that abuse the ability to modify their links—such as by misrepresenting content or spamming—will lose access to the new feature.

She added that Facebook will analyze the impact of the new content customization tab “over the next few months.”

Image courtesy of Anne-Marie Miller/iStock.