Facebook responds to Trending news ‘bias’ with automated selection

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The stories appearing on Trending news section of Facebook will no longer be manually managed. The social network giant from now will solely rely on computer algorithms to filter and list topics that are generating a buzz.

Facebook introduced Trending Topics in 2014 to help users discover breaking news and conversations trending on the platform. However, news reports of human editors stamping out conservative news and viewpoints led to widespread criticism.

This has led to Facebook’s latest announcement of doing away with human editors who wrote special descriptions for stories that appeared on the site.

“Today, we’re making some changes to the Trending feature on Facebook that will make the product more automated and will no longer require people to write descriptions for trending topics,” Facebook stated in a blog post.

“We added Trending to Facebook in 2014, and similar to Search, Trending was designed to help people discover interesting and relevant conversations happening on Facebook, about breaking news and events from around the world.”

The social networking site said its goal is to create a more algorithmically driven process that allows to scale trending topics and make it available to people.

From today, Facebook users will see a simplified topic than a story description. The topic will be based on the number of original posts and shares of posts about the topic. Users need to click on the topic to see news sources that are covering it.

In its announcement, Facebook also responded to questions of alleged political bias on its platform. “We looked into these claims and found no evidence of systematic bias. Still, making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics,” it said.

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