Facebook is shutting down its notorious 'trending' feature

Facebook killing controversial ‘Trending’ feature, breaking news alerts and more coming

But instead of letting Facebook's moderators make editorial decisions, there has been a subtle shift to let news organisations do so. "So we're exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources".

Facebook said it was experimenting with other news products, including a section called Today In that includes breaking and local news.

Hardiman said Facebook is testing the new label with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia.

You've likely noticed the Trending box in the upper right-hand corner of your News Feed page before, only to forget about it and never click on a link there again.

Hardiman said that Facebook will remove the trending section next week.

In the last several years, the world's biggest social media platform has become a dominating force in how news is disseminated - 44 percent of adults in America get at least some of their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.

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"From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Hardiman said.

Conservatives have often charged Facebook with being biased against them, grilling Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue in an April hearing. The company tried to temper this by removing human reviewers who helped manage trending topics in favor of supposedly unbiased algorithms.

The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by publishers it would not yet name.

Facebook appears to have concluded that trying to fix the headaches caused by the trending section was not worth the meagre benefits the company, users and news publishers saw in it. It plans to launch this feature in the next few months.

Trending was introduced in 2014 but was intensely controversial from the beginning.

Detailed in a press release, Facebook says that its trending feature was only available in select countries and didn't prove to be popular. The algorithms promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories, a false story about then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly, and a parody news article about magical iPhone features, which some say were early indicators of Facebook's misinformation problem.

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