Facebook testing local news section on its platform

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Facebook is now testing "Today In" in New Orleans; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y., according to Recode. The people in the six test cities are to be alerted by Facebook that the new feature has been brought in already, but after that, Facebook "Today In" will feature in the menu (☰) where Facebook sports several other lesser-used sections of the app.

The experiment is apparently being led by Facebook's News Partnerships team, which is employing human curation and machine learning to fuel the content found in the "Today In" section.

The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January past year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

One of the project's most important mandates is combating fake news, and the promotion of legitimate local news sources appears to be part of this battle (Facebook is vetting local news publishers who will end up in the section).

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For its new local hub, Facebook is starting with a small batch of test markets.

There's no word yet on when the feature will roll out to all USA cities. The company has attempted deploying different solutions to the problem of fake news, with varying levels of success. This section is being tested in five cities of America however the company plans to launch it globally once its gets approved in its test phase.

The new tool, called "Today In", will show a feed of local events, announcements and news to the users. Eventually, the company hopes to roll it out to more locations and allow users to follow a city they don't reside in. These will include posts coming both from people as well as pages.

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