August 28, 2016 10:09:21 am
Facebook is making changes to ‘Trending Topics’ to make the feature more automated. The descriptions for trending topics will no longer be written by editors. “Our goal is to enable Trending for as many people as possible, which would be hard to do if we relied solely on summarizing topics by hand,” Facebook said in a post. The post explains a more algorithmically driven process will allow the company to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time.
The Facebook post lists the changes the company is making to its ‘Trending Topic’ feature. For starters, users will now see a simplified topic instead of seeing a story description in Trending. The number of people talking about that particular topic on Facebook can also be seen. “To see more about what people are saying about a topic, you can hover over it or click on it,” the post explains.
While the social media giant is making Trending feature automated, there are still people involved in this process. According to the post, this is to make sure topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality. “Our team will still strictly follow our guidelines, which have been updated to reflect these changes,” it says.
The social media giant took the step after it faced criticism earlier this year over claims the service was suppressing conservative views. A Gizmodo report published in May had claimed that links to ‘conservative articles’ in the ‘Trending’ Topics Section were suppressed. Mark Zuckerberg, however, denied all claims of an inbuilt bias.
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Facebook says the company 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,” the post reads.
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