Regardless of how interesting or informative Facebook News Feed might have appealed to you, the social networking goliath’s Watch team is all poised now towards creating a section that will feature Breaking News stories. Although it was previously decided that Facebook would confer a breaking tag to ‘breaking news articles’, recent developments indicate creation of a section in Watch that will feature breaking news stories exclusively. This news stunt has recently been released by Facebook executive Campbell Brown who is scheduled to head the company’s news partnership program.
How Facebook Breaking News Feature is Going to Hit You
Despite Brown’s non-committal maneuvers about keeping all in darkness in regard to the launching and other incidentals related to breaking news stories, it seems that these will primarily revolve round ‘breaking’ incidents close to the user’s residential or work area, as well as those happening worldwide. Additionally, it will prioritize local issues. However, it is hard to understand at this stage how the breaking news feature is going affect the average audience, save and except that it may create a sensation, thus capturing the attention of the users. It is also hoped that news publishers having Facebook accounts will tend to to use this feature for furthering their presence among readers.
What The Heck is Breaking News All About?
Broadly speaking, breaking news involves events that have just been developing or ‘breaking’. It usually refers to issues that are happening suddenly or unexpectedly such as a jetliner landing on the Hudson River [Jan 6, 2009] fire breaking out in a skyscraper, such as fire engulfing the Dubai Marina Torch, one of the world’s tallest residential towers [Aug 2, 2017], It may also include news report about thousands protesting in Washington, York City in defiance of Trump [Jan 20, 2017]
Covering Breaking News Could Pose A Challenge For Facebook
Apart from covering the story first, ahead of other media representative, it also needs to get it correctly. There have been instances in the past when major news outlets have floundered, providing wrong stories. Take the case of Rep. Gabriel Giffords who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in Tuscon, Ariz (on Jan 8, 2017) but survived. However, some of the country’s most reliable and revered news outlets that included The New York Times, NPR and CNN reported that she had died as a result of the shooting. What’s more, NPR went to the extent of sending out email alerts with the message that the congresswoman had died, while its social media editor tweeted the same message to millions of Twitter followers with devastating result.
Then there are other issues like confirmation by eyewitnesses, hazards of making assumptions, speculations and many more.
As for eyewitness confirmation, even though very dramatic and convincing, it has its pitfalls and unless thoroughly checked could land the reporter into a soup. One eyewitness, in the Giffords shooting incident described seeing her “slumped in the ground with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. She was bleeding down her face.” If anyone, relying on such eyewitness testimony reports death without physically checking the health condition of the person is liable to feed wrong information to the news outlet, in this case, Facebook.
Making assumptions prove equally hazardous for breaking news reports. There are two ways to react if you draw your inferences from assumptions. One is the Rule of Thumb that says “always reject the first assumption”. It has invariably been found that the first assumption revolves more around fantasies than reality. The second, of course touches authenticity, while the third becomes absurdity. The other entails the Murphy’s Law that clearly asserts “that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong sometime or the olther”, and so the presumption that everything is safe and sound is a fallacy which should never be supported nor sustained.
All said and done, the fate of Breaking News is still hanging through a thread – no one knows about its day of debut, or worse still, whether it will ever be launched or not. Said a reliable Facebook spokesperson the other day, Facebook always experiments with new features and seldom launches one till it succeeds all test.