Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Facebook kills 'Trending' feature, tests breaking news

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is testing a feature focused on highlighting breaking news Charles Platiau Reuters Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is testing a feature focused on highlighting breaking news
Mandy Jefferson | 04 June, 2018, 02:21

But in 2016, an anonymous former Facebook (FB) contractor alleged that colleagues at the company suppressed news about "popular conservative topics" from the trending section.

Facebook says it's removing its controversial "Trending" section because no one was actually using it.

Trending is being pulled from Facebook next week and it will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API, the company said.

Although Facebook improved the algorithm over time, the company said it only accounted for about 1.5 percent of all clicks on news headlines.

Active since 2014, the section highlighted three top news stories trending across the platform, though how Facebook decided which news items to include there often came under scrutiny.

Facebook's push for "trusted" news sources is the result of relentless political and mainstream media pressure since the 2016 United States presidential election. A January 2017 update to algorithms to "prevent fake news" from showing up in Trending apparently didn't do enough to impress the feature's critics. 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. Previously, moderators for Facebook made the decisions.

Thousands more died from Hurricane Maria than official death toll
If a member of the family was reported lacking however not recognized to be deceased, researchers counted them as alive. Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló , who himself is a scientist, seemed blindsided by the Harvard study.


The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by outside publishers it would not yet name. Democrats have blamed Hillary Clinton's surprise defeat, among other things, on fake news, "Russian" ads, and user data harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

Another feature, called "Today In", shows people breaking news in their area from local publishers, officials and organizations.

More Facebook users are also viewing news over mobile and through video, the company added.

Then, mere *hours* later, the tolling of the death knell received an appropriate tribute: the news started Trending on Facebook, in the trending section itself.

Of course, Facebook will still offer you access to news, including trending and breaking news.

Facebook said it is testing new features, including a "breaking news" label that publishers can add to stories and ways to make local news more prominent.

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