Meta to ban commenting on news articles until they’ve been read

Bedford Independent comments facebook

In a move that will help create better informed and more responsible debate, Meta has announced plans to prevent people from commenting on social media posts from news publishers before they’ve read the article.

Meta, which owns popular social media pages Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, gives people everywhere a chance to debate and discuss news and information with people they wouldn’t normally have the chance to.

As brilliant as this opportunity is, it can lead to social media being overrun with speculation and rumour. It’s hoped the move will help prevent social media users from jumping to conclusions or asking questions they could easily find the answer to themselves.

“It’s a great idea,” said a Bedford Independent spokesperson.

The Bedford Independent has an anti-clickbait stance but still gets comments on its Facebook pages from people asking questions that have already been answered in the article.

“Our headlines are designed to sum up a story in a few words, but we only have so much space, so if readers want to find out more they sometimes need to read on,” added the spokesperson.

“It can be quite disheartening to spend our time researching and writing an article about a new shop or event only to have someone comment, “Where is this?” or “When is it opening?”.”

Local news relies on readers visiting their sites so they can provide high-quality news that readers expect.

“Without readers heading to our site, we might not be able to tell Bedfordians what’s going on or support local businesses as much as we’d like,” said the Bedford Independent spokesperson.

“The Bedford Independent is run by local people for local people and we’re delighted an average of 130,000 people head to our website each month.

“But, it would be great if we didn’t have to spend time writing ‘all details in the article’ on our Facebook posts, time that would be better spent writing even more news articles for our fellow Bedfordians.”

It’s unclear when the new feature will be rolled out but we are told that Meta will be making a statement with full details at midday today.

Update: Of course, this would be an excellent idea, but sadly (for now) it’s just an April Fool. If however you’d like to avoid social media when getting your daily Bedford Borough News, it’s never been easier. Just sign up for our daily news email below, we won’t send you anything else – no spam, no promotions, just news.

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