Facebook Changes Trending News to Be More Automated

On Friday, Facebook said it was automating its feature trending stories further, a move that scales back the human input in order to prevent any personal bias from influencing the stories that are highlighted.

The giant of social media will have an algorithm it relies on heavily to operate this feature, which lists the news or the events that are hot topics. This will not require people to write out descriptions, said a Friday blog post by Facebook.

The feature earlier this year prompted some controversy with critics saying that the new curators at Facebook deliberately were leaving out stories from outlets that were politically conservative, allegations that were denied by the company.

Facebook said that relying more on software would allow this feature to cover a broader scale. While at the same time, also lessen risk that personal bias might manipulate the trending topics list.

Facebook insisted in the blog post that he had looked into claims of bias and had no found any evidence there was systematic bias, but said making the current changes to the product gives the Facebook team the responsibility of fewer decisions over topics.

With this change, rather than seeing summaries of stories in a trending list, Facebook users will just see topics and the amount of people talking about the different ones.

Leaving the cursor to hover over the topic will show an original story in the news with a small excerpt that was pulled from the No. 1 article on the list.

Humans are stilling going to be involved during the process to make sure that the topics are news that is real world and not based upon a trend on the internet.

In May, Facebook made changes that were aimed at keeping out political bias from the site’s trending stories list even though the internal investigation just completed has revealed no evidence that was actually an issue.

Facebook made an update to its terminology in guidelines it has to be clearer as well as give reviewers more training that would put an emphasis that contact decisions could not be biased on ideology or politics, said Facebook.

The team in charge of reviewing will have much more oversight and controls, while Facebook stops relying on external website lists and the outlets for new assess their importance of the stores.