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Facebook is testing a new local news feed on mobile called “Today In," according to Recode.

Why it matters: The company has been criticized over the past year for not doing enough to support publishers and to police fake news on its site. This update demonstrates Facebook's commitment to addressing both issues via artificial intelligence.

According to Recode's report, the test is currently only running in six cities: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y.

  • The product could compete with Snapchat, which added hyper-local stories to its news platform via "College Stories" last year, and sources say the the company may have plans to expand into local news markets.
  • Google has also taken steps to elevate local news sources in search results over the past year.

Facebook has been investing in local news and events for some time, opening up its free social analytics tool "Crowdtangle" to local publishers last year and establishing a standalone events app called "Facebook Local."

It's unclear how much local publishers will benefit from the exposure of the new feed. One can assume that the initiative is aimed at bolstering relationships with local news companies because it will be managed under the "Facebook Journalism Project" umbrella, which was developed last year to strengthen Facebook's publisher relationships.

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

5 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.