Facebook to Combat Fake Stories with Better “Trending Topics”
Facebook’s intentions when it introduced a personalized version of “Trending Topics” was good. Unfortunately, this has led to the proliferation of fake news websites which may or may not have affected the outcome of a certain major political event. Continuing on with the company’s crusade against misleading news, Facebook has decided to revamp the feature entirely.
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With this revamp, Facebook will no longer be personalizing the articles that appear in the “Trending Topics” feature. From this point forwards, all topics that appear in the feature will now be the same for everyone in the same region.
Secondly, all Trending Topic entries will display a headline from a publisher’s article about that topic. The headline that accompanies a topic will be chosen based on the article’s engagement on Facebook, the publisher’s overall engagement, as well as the number of articles that are linked back to it.
Finally, Facebook will also be expanding the criteria in which a topic would be considered as “trending”. Previously, topics were considered trending if they had high engagement. With the new changes, Facebook will be taking into account the number of publishers that are posting articles on Facebook about the topic in question, as well as the engagement around the articles surrounding that particular topic.