We’ve all seen it at least once. A piece of news shared on Facebook that hits our feed, except it’s old. Really old. The headline makes it sound recent, but the event happened ages ago, and the article might even be accurate anymore. Facebook wants to stop that, so now it will pop up a warning when you’re about to share old news.
Starting today, if you try to share a news article more than 90 days old, Facebook will slow you down. The company will show a warning, explaining that the article is over three months old and give you a choice to skip sharing it or post anyway. Sometimes old news is still timely, so the latter option is necessary.
But all often, that’s not the case, and old news continues to be shared when it no longer holds the same context in today’s ever-shifting climate. Sometimes it may be harmless but hopelessly out of date information like the “recent” passing of a celebrity who died well over a year ago. In other cases, the subject may be more serious, like information about COVID-19 infection numbers that aren’t correct anymore.
In either case, Facebook hopes this change will help people pause and consider before sharing. Which is something every social network could likely use more of for the mental health of everybody.