Facebook introduced another security feature this week to help users avoid getting tricked by pages peddling fake content, spam, malware and more. According to the company, Facebook pages with large followings in the United States will now need to complete an “authorization process” that includes listing the country they’re managed from.
Later this month, page managers will begin to receive a notice prompting them to take these steps. If they don’t, they won’t be able to post any content at all. Facebook has not revealed the size of pages that will be affected by this new rule, but the company did say it will begin verifying the location of page owners by checking their phones instead of relying on physical identification.
“Our goal is to prevent organizations and individuals from creating accounts that mislead people about who they are or what they’re doing,” Facebook said in a statement. “These updates are part of our continued efforts to increase authenticity and transparency of Pages on our platform.”
Though the country of Russia isn’t mentioned by name in Facebook’s announcement, it’s clear this feature is designed primarily to prevent the sort of fake news that spread during the 2016 presidential election. It’s a seemingly simple change, but let’s hope it’s an effective one.