Facebook Updates Trending to Help Battle Fake News

Facebook’s ‘Trending’ category has received a major makeover as part of the social media firm’s bid to deal with fake news on the site.

As part of the update, trending topics will now feature a publisher headline below each topic name.

“In order to provide people with more context on what is trending on Facebook, we will now display a headline from a publisher’s article about that topic,” Facebook product management vice-president Will Cathcart said in a blog post. “This was the most requested feature addition since the last update we made to Trending in August. These are the same headlines that appear when you hover over or click on a Trending topic, but people told us they wanted these headlines directly within Trending, too.”

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Headlines that surface will be chosen using a combination of factors such as engagement around the article on Facebook, the engagement around the publisher overall, and if other articles are linking to it.

Once a person clicks on a topic, he or she will be transported to a personalized results page displaying additional sources and posts about the topic.

The changes, which are currently rolling out to U.S. users, also include an improved system to determine what is trending.

“Previously, topics may have trended due to high engagement on Facebook around a single post or article,” Cathcart said. “With today’s update, we will now look at the number of publishers that are posting articles on Facebook about the same topic, and the engagement around that group of articles.”

The update means trending topics will appear more quickly and will contain a broader range of news and events from around the world that have been covered by multiple news outlets.

Facebook is doing away with personalized trending categories, meaning everyone in the same region will see the same topics. The change is meant to ensure people don’t miss important topics being discussed on Facebook that might not show up in their News Feed.

The rollout of the ‘Trending’ update will be completed for all U.S. users in the coming weeks.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Facebook Updates Trending to Help Battle Fake News appeared first on SiteProNews.

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