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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook will expand its "breaking news" label that's being tested in the U.S. to more than 50 additional publishers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia. If the expansion is successful, Facebook says it may add more publishers.

Why it matters: Breaking news has consistently been difficult for tech platforms to manage, making it a prime opportunity for misinformation campaigns. More distinctions around breaking news from verified publishers might help point readers to verified sources during breaking news events.

For publishers, the "breaking news" tag helps elevate breaking stories in real time, which should elevate those stories on the platform.

  • Publishers in the test can label Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live content as breaking news.
  • They can use the indicator once a day, and can set how long the story is marked as breaking for (up to 6 hours.) They'll also have an extra pool of 5 indicators per month.
  • The posts will appear in News Feed and within Page Insights so that publishers can track how their tagged posts perform.
  • Readers will also be able to provide feedback when they don't think a story warrants a breaking news tag.

Facebook says it's seen positive results from its initial test. Data from December 8th to January 14th shows that people in the U.S. engage more with posts that are labeled as breaking news. Over the course of a month there was a:

  • 4% lift in clickthrough rate
  • 7% lift in Likes
  • 4% lift in Comments
  • 11% lift in Shares

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.