Facebook To Remove ‘Trending’ Topics Section

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Facebook will remove its Trending section starting next week, the social media giant said in a blog post. Introduced in 2014, Trending is available in five countries. According to the company, Trending accounted for only 1.5 per cent of click to news publishers on average and thus it is being removed. “From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful. We will remove Trending from Facebook next week and we will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products in an official blog post.

The move comes almost two years after Facebook’s Trending topics controversy, where a Gizmodo report claimed that links to ‘conservative articles’ in the ‘Trending’ Topics Section were suppressed. The report notes that the more conservative news outlets in the US are usually ignored, and that stories around conservative leaders from trending prominently in the section are routinely stopped.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied all claims of an-inbuilt bias. In a Facebook post afterward, Zuckerberg did not directly respond to allegations that Facebook employees suppressed conservative stories on its “trending topics” feature. But he said, “I know many conservatives don’t trust that our platform surfaces content without a political bias.” “I wanted to hear their concerns personally and have an open conversation about how we can build trust. I want to do everything I can to make sure our teams uphold the integrity of our products,” he wrote.

Also read: Facebook Trending topics controversy: Here’s what has happened so far

Facebook is also testing new features for news such as Breaking News Label, Today In and News Video in Watch. Currently, Facebook is running a test for Breaking News Label with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia. Thanks to the feature “breaking news” indicator can be put by publishers on their posts on News Feed. Breaking news notifications is also being tested by the company.

Facebook’s Today In will be a dedicated section on the platform for latest news from local publishers in a city as well as updates from local organisations. Finally, Facebook will soon introduce News Video in Watch for its users in the US. A dedicated section in Watch, News Video will give users access to live coverage, daily news briefings as well as exclusive weekly shows.

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Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/facebook-to-remove-trending-section-two-years-after-trending-controversy-heres-why-5201037/

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