If the flood of Facebook advertisements that have breached our lives aren’t enough to convince you that Facebook is trying their very best, then perhaps this news will:
Facebook is getting rid of their “Trending” section.
When the feature launched back in 2014, it was created as a way for users to discover news topics that were popular at the moment. According to the Facebook press statement, however, it never quite gained traction among users. Available in only five countries, it “accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average” and, as time went on, “people found the product to be less and less useful.”
Not mentioned in the statement is how the company fired their trending editors in 2016 after being accused of suppressing conservative news. Thereafter, they used algorithms to choose stories from an unbiased perspective. But since algorithms aren’t perfect either, fake news stories and other inappropriate content were able to be highlighted across the network.
“Since Facebook removed human reviewers from its news section,” Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation expert and fellow at the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, told NPR, “The algorithm has sometimes promoted misleading, false, or highly partisan content, serving it to millions of users.”
But instead of giving up on news completely, the company will be testing other news features that will provide users with reliable news stories from trustworthy sources.
Here are the features, straight from the press statement:
Breaking News Label: A test we’re running with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia lets publishers put a “breaking news” indicator on their posts in News Feed. We’re also testing breaking news notifications.
Today In: We’re testing a dedicated section on Facebook called “Today In” that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
News Video in Watch: We will soon have a dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the US where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.