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Facebook testing local news and events section in its app

The new section called "Today In" is being tested right now in six US cities.

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Facebook is testing a section of its app dedicated to local news, events and announcements.

Facebook

Facebook is trying to help users learn more about what's going on in their own communities. 

The social network said Wednesday it's testing a new section of its app dedicated to events and news stories from local publishers and organizations.

The new section is called "Today In," and it's being tested in just five cities right now: New Orleans; Little Rock, Arkansas; Billings, Montana; Peoria, Illinois; Olympia, Washington; and Binghamton, New York. The "Today In" section will exist alongside the local news that already appears in people's news feeds and on publisher pages. Recode reported the news about "Today In" earlier Wednesday.

The section will be powered by a mix of machine learning software and human workers used to surface the local content. Local news publishers will be approved by Facebook's News Partnerships team, according to Recode.

The test comes as Facebook faces scrutiny over its handling of "fake news" on its site. The social network has been trying to weed out misinformation and hoaxes on the news feed, and has tried using third-party fact checkers to curb the problem. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been trying to position Facebook as a hub for local and civic engagement.

In those test cities, you'll be able to see the "Today In" tab by clicking on the ☰ button on the bottom right corner of the app.

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