Facebook to remove 'trending' news stories section following years of controversy


In May, the social media giant announced that it would bring in former Sen.

"It's very good to get rid of 'trending, '" said Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of Maryland and expert on algorithms and society.

According to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of US adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.

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.

Zuckerberg met prominent rightwing leaders at the company's headquarters in an attempt at damage control. Yet two years later, Facebook still hasn't been able to shake the notion of bias. Initially, Facebook relied on human editors to curate the news topics that appeared.

The ill-fated Trending section launched in 2014, featuring short lists that let people tap into the most popular stories of the moment.

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But they too presented problems and began surfacing fake news articles over the Trending section. She added that the company is exploring new ways to help people stay informed "while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources".

"What they are not doing is giving an overall account of their mission on how these fixes fit together", Pasquale said.

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

Today In: 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. It's being tested in 30 markets in the US. It will also launch news videos like live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives in its Watch tab, the service's home base for video. It also proved problematic in ways that hinted at Facebook's later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of AI in managing the human world.

Hardiman provided some examples of what the site may replace the section with in the near future. "From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Facebook said in a blog post, which said Trending will be gone next week.