Facebook to Drop Trending-Topics Feature

02 June, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Darrell Baldwin

Facebook responded to the backlash by removing humans from the equation, and relying purely on algorithms - which produced a different set of problems, like surfacing bogus news accounts, like the erroneous story about Fox News firing Megyn Kelly for supporting Hillary Clinton. "We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we're investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most", Hardiman said.

Facebook said it is also testing a new section called "Today In", which displays local breaking news, and a dedicated section of Facebook Watch in the US for live videos and other items exclusive to the platform.

Facebook said it is working with 80 publishers in Australia, Europe, India, and the Americas on a "Breaking News" label to adorn posts in News Feed. And, because algorithms are not ideal, they repeatedly goofed up, allowing fake news stories to spread across the network by highlighting factually inaccurate links that were going viral as well as other inappropriate content.

Facebook says that the early results from this testing have led to a 4 percent lift in click-through rates, a 7 percent lift in Likes, and an 11 percent lift in shares. Facebook also wants to make local news more prominent. Facebook eventually fired the editors on the trending team, replacing them with an automated process.

"From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Hardiman said.




The contractor claimed Facebook downplayed conservative issues and promoted liberal causes. It's being tested in 30 markets in the US. Facebook is done with Trending, though. It plans to launch this feature in the next few months. In its announcement on Friday (June 1), Facebook said the section was driving only marginal traffic to news publishers.

The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by publishers it would not yet name.

Detailed in a press release, Facebook says that its trending feature was only available in select countries and didn't prove to be popular.

Introduced in 2014, the section, available on desktop and mobile devices, was intended "to help people discover content that is both popular in the world and meaningful to them".

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