Facebook Is Scrapping Its Troubled 'Trending' News Section

A few months later, Facebook axed its Trending contract workers to make the product more automated, as if code written by people would somehow be free of the bias evident in decisions made by people.

"It was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publishers on average". These efforts will be funded by Facebook itself, the company said.

The changes arrive at a time when Facebook has been held accountable for allowing the spread of fake news across its network, and it has responded with a host of fake news-fighting features like fact checking, adding publisher context, the addition of related articles, shrinking fake news in the News Feed, and other initiatives. The section will also include updates from local officials and organizations that have a Facebook page.

"We found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Alex Hardiman, Facebook's head of news products, wrote in a blog post this morning.

The trending section had been a large target of criticism for the company.

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The emergency has been canceled and the evacuation order was rescinded, McDowell County Emergency Management said in an update . Some areas have received up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain since Sunday on ground that was already saturated.

The breaking news label that Facebook is testing with 80 news publishers will let outlets such as the Washington Post add a red label to indicate that a story is breaking news. Facebook is also promoting more local news stories and letting users rank the trustworthiness of various publications.

The Kelly hoax was supposed to be an anomaly, but a subsequent audit by The Intercept found other instances of trending stories that were indisputably fake or profoundly inaccurate.

Facebook didn't announce any plans to bring back Trending, or some version of it in the future.

Facebook said it is also testing a new section called "Today In", which displays local breaking news, and a dedicated section of Facebook Watch in the USA for live videos and other items exclusive to the platform.

Introduced in 2014, the section, available on desktop and mobile devices, was intended "to help people discover content that is both popular in the world and meaningful to them". The company tried to temper this by removing human reviewers who helped manage trending topics in favor of supposedly unbiased algorithms. Facebook Watch will soon have a dedicated section for live news coverage.

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