Jan 11, 2018

Facebook tests local news feed on mobile

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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
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George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset.

Buffalo police officers arrested after shoving 75-year-old protester

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing, AP reports, citing prosecutors.

The state of play: Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, and were released without bail. After the law enforcement officers were initially suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned in a show of support for their fellow officers' suspensions.