Facebook has announced that they have removed the trending section after this grew concerns over “fake news” becoming viral. Facebook trending was a feature personalised to the information shared on people’s profiles released 4 years ago in efforts to increase engagement with users online. The goal of the news feature had been to help people discover news topics that were looming in the Facebook Community.
“We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were popular across the Facebook community. However, it was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average,” says Facebook in a news article.
Facebook trending had been available in 5 different countries, and did not gain sufficient enough popularity after its amid fears that fake new that may of helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election, and conspiracy theories over 9/11. These issues began to make social media more suspicious of fake news that can deceive up to 1.79 billion users on facebook today. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t fully agree with this statement and pushed back against accusations in his statement he made at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon bay.
“Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook — it’s a very small amount of the content — to think it influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Mark Z. Facebook Techonomy conference.
As a precaution, Facebook is launching new ways that users can be informed of latest news. It has been testing a “Breaking News Label that will be tested in 80 different countries across each different continents. The “News video in watch” a feature in the US that users in the US will see live coverages and a daily news column.
Limiting access to data in compliance to new data privacy laws across Europe, where researchers can only keep relevant data for purpose of proposed studies is the next priority.