fbdaf.jpg
(Credit: Facebook Newsroom)

After accusations of allowing the spread of "fake news" during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook (iOS, Android) began to phase out the news feed.

Of course, users can still share news articles or follow news sources on the social media site.

But the company could possibly be easing back in with its announcement about 'Today In,' a section on Facebook for localized news and information.

SEE: More than 80 percent of Twitter's 2016 election trolls are still active, according to study

The feature is live in 400 cities so far and in testing overseas. Users can turn on updates to start seeing the news in their feeds.

To find it, tap the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of the Facebook app. Scroll down until you find "Today In [your city name]."

Facebook is also reaching out to areas outside population centers. "We have started testing Today In in communities located in news deserts, places that have a low supply of local news and community information, by supplementing with relevant content from surrounding areas," Facebook said in a blog post.

The creation of Today In came in response to more than half of Facebook users asking for more localized news.

Of course, local news doesn't equate to a free pass on bias accountability. While local news is often niche in smaller towns, larger state and national issues can still make an impact. Facebook will still need to keep an eye on the Today In section because not everything will be about restaurant openings, road closures, and bus routes.

Facebook is also testing local alerts for the government and first responders in emergency situations.

"People tell us it is important to receive timely, local updates in situations that directly affect them or that require them to take action, such as major road closures, blackouts or natural disasters," the company said.

Facebook cited the efficiency of the Charlotte, North Carolina, government Facebook page, which tested the local alerts during Hurricane Florence.

Pages can post up to 35 alerts over a 30-day rolling period and mark a post as a local alert for six hours. Facebook also said the local alerts aren't meant to replace emergency alert systems.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.

Takeaways

  1. Facebook launched 'Today In,' a section for localized news and information, in over 400 US cities.
  2. Facebook is also testing local alerts for the government and first responders in emergency situations after positive results during Hurricane Florence.

Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.