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Posted on
May 24th, 2016

Facebook Will Revamp Trending Topics

On Monday, Facebook announced that it will be revamping Trending Topics on the platform. These plans come following an internal investigation after the company was accused of political bias by an anonymous source.

Trending topics shows you a collection of stories that are popular on the site. This could be anything from a viral video to a recent news story.

The site determines what is trending by looking at how many times it has been viewed or shared, when it’s posted, as well as the user’s personal interests and location.

When accessing the site on desktop, it will show your trending topics in 5 categories. These are All News, Politics, Science and Technology, Sports and Entertainment. You can change the type of trending stories that you see by hiding the topics that you don’t want to see.

The findings of the investigation were detailed in a 12-page letter to US Senator John Thune. In this letter, the company said that it “revealed no evidence of systematic political bias in the selection or prominence of stories included in the Trending Topics feature,” but the “investigation could not fully exclude the possibility of isolated improper actions or unintentional bias in the implementation of our guidelines or policies.”

In the future, the company will make more training available for its staff. They will also stop relying on certain news organisations, like the BBC and Washington Post, “to identify, validate or assess the importance of particular topics.”

Facebook has said that they will expand the help centre, giving users better support when it comes to Trending Topics. People using the help centre will also be able to find out more about the service and the new terminology in its guidelines.

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