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Noah Berger / AP

Facebook is starting to allow some English-language news Pages to register to join a new internal Facebook index that the tech giant will refer to when deciding which Pages to roll out global news products to.

Why it matters: Facebook says the process for building such an index is long overdue. A renewed urgency has been placed on rollout to ensure that sponsored posts from indexed news publishers are placed in a political ads archive created specifically for news organizations, and not general political advertisers.

What it takes: In order to be included in the index, a Page must meet the following requirements:

  • They must abide by guidelines it has developed with news organizations, academics and industry groups, like focusing primarily on current events and information, citing sources, and including bylines and dates.
  • Facebook says Pages that primarily publish ads or promotional content are not eligible, nor are Pages that have a record of publishing articles that have been rated false by the its third-party fact-checking partners.

How it works: Facebook anticipates that it will take several weeks to roll out the application process to all Pages. The company says it will reconvene with news organizations, academics, and industry groups to ensure the process for registration is as smooth as possible.

  • The first use case for the index (which is for internal use only) will be determining which news organizations should be placed in the news archive.
  • It's currently using industry lists to make that determination, but it says it knows industry lists "are not inclusive of all the news pages on Facebook" and its goal is to be as inclusive as possible.

The bottom line: Many people think of valid "news Pages" on Facebook as those belonging to mainstream news organizations. But Facebook considers any Page on its platform that is authentic and follows the aforementioned guidelines to be a "news Page." This means its definition of a "news Page" is far more comprehensive than what most people would think of when they consider what a news organization is.

Editor's note: Axios contributed ideas to the guidelines & participated in test of the product.

Go deeper

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Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

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  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
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12 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.