Facebook is removing the the trending news feature next week

Facebook Is Killing Off Its Trending News Section

Facebook Is Killing Off Its Trending News Section

"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".

Facebook will remove its troubled "Trending Topics" section next week, the company said Friday, signaling that the controversial feature was better off dead as Facebook builds different products for news.

Facebook's head of news products, Alex Hardiman, wrote in the announcement that the company is now testing a breaking news label that would put the power of editorial decisions in the hands of news organizations. There will also be a dedicated news section in Facebook Watch.

In a blog post titled "Removing Trending from Facebook", the company said that the feature only accounted for 1.5 percent of clicks to news stories.

Problems with the trending section emerged in 2016, when the company was accused of bias against conservatives, based on comments by an anonymous former contractor. First came a report that its human editors were biased against conservatives. In recent months, Facebook has launched several initiatives to address accusations of political bias, misinformation and transparency in political advertising.

The trending section had been a large target of criticism for the company. Instead, the software algorithm began to pick out posts that were getting the most attention, even if the information in them was bogus. The idea was that coverage by just one outlet could be a sign that the news is fake.

"I consider us to be a technology company because the primary thing that we do is have engineers who write code and build product and services for other people", he told Congress.

"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". Hardiman said Facebook is testing the new label with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia. It's being tested in 30 markets in the US.

Facebook is set to kill its "trending" news section next week after four years and is testing a new breaking news feature that could replace it.

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