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Facebook To Suspend ‘Trending’ Topics Feature

04 June 2018
Facebook To Suspend ‘Trending’ Topics Feature

According to the Pew Research Centre, 44% of U.S. adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.

But Facebook, via its Trending widget, has also come under fire for accusations of liberal bias and conservative news suppression - a narrative that Facebook hasn't been able to escape since Mashable's own Michael Nuñez broke that story at Gizmodo in 2016.

Zuckerberg met prominent rightwing leaders at the company's headquarters in an attempt at damage control. Facebook denied it had any policy to censor conservative viewpoints or specific publications.

In the era of "fake news", Facebook is doing away with its "Trending" news section.

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. However, the company has just announced the end of that section.

"And we're investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most".

The section will be removed from Facebook next week, the company said Friday. The changes and features Facebook is putting out, he said, are being treated as "bug fixes" - addressing single problems the way engineers do.

Facebook now says it will test new approaches to disseminating news from publishers, to include a "breaking news" test where publishers can apply that label to some of their posts in News Feed.

"Breaking news has to look different than a recipe", Ms Hardiman said.

The effectiveness of the features was cut at the knees and rendered even less useful in 2016 during the presidential election when dozens of fake news websites were attempting to influence the outcome of the Clinton v. Trump race.

The Facebook logo is seen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. It plans to launch this feature in the next few months.

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

These new ways include a Breaking News label in the News Feed section for select publishers, a locally focused section that's being tested called Today In, and the addition of news video for United States users of Facebook Watch.

Hardiman provided some examples of what the site may replace the section with in the near future.