Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Facebook is removing the the trending news feature next week

Facebook is removing the the trending news feature next week

"We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community", Hardiman wrote.

Facebook users, prepare to say goodbye to the social network's Trending feature.

Facebook is shutting down its trending topics section, a feature that was meant to highlight interesting conversations on the platform but ended up creating political headaches for the company.

The official reason for the removal of the Trending feature is due to users finding it being less and less useful over time.

The company has also been reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In 2016, I reported for Gizmodo that the company hired a small group of about a dozen young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or East Coast universities, to curate and decide what everyone in the US was able to see in the Trending module - and more importantly what they weren't able to see. When it addressed that problem by firing human editors in 2016, it opted for algorithms to make unbiased selections, a fertile environment vulnerable to phony information.

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"People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them. For an organization that claims it is not the arbiter of truth, the algorithm still acted as a curator and favored sensational content", she said.

Facebook's decision to partner with media outlets and rank news items by their trustworthiness has raised eyebrows, however, since the published partner list overwhelmingly leaned left and mainstream.

Facebook is also testing new features for news such as Breaking News Label, Today In and News Video in Watch. Notifications are also being tested.

Another news product that Facebook is exploring, called "Today In", gives prominence to local news sources. In recent months, Facebook has launched several initiatives to address accusations of political bias, misinformation and transparency in political advertising.

News Video in Watch: We will soon have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the U.S. where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.

Facebook is shuttering the much-maligned Trending topics section next week, noting it only accounted for 1.5% of clicks to news publishers in the five countries where it was displayed in the News Feed.

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