Trending” News Feature on Facebook to be Discontinued
Facebook Inc. announced on the 1st of June that it would no longer continue the “trending” news feature that is currently in use. The primary reason for this, a source at the company claimed, was the recent legal and public backlash it has experienced for the revelation that it had allowed spammers and Russian operatives to spread unverified news reports to sway the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election in the US. This latest move is a concerted effort by the world’s largest social media platform to address issues of “fake news” being so easy to distribute across its user network. A month ago, Facebook launched a report on the sheer volume of spam user accounts that it ad found on its servers, stating that it was in the process of identifying and removing these as soon as possible. The company would also be more closely monitoring the creation, or activities that could possibly lead to the creation of fake accounts.
Replacing the “trending” feature, the company said in a blog post, would be features that would attempt to aggregate specific, pertinent local news under labels like “Breaking News” that would very possibly reside in its own page section. This news would be previously identified as being authentic by being vetted for authenticity under the new paradigm of testing of accuracy of a news report. Having come under a lot of fire for the way in which many claimed that Facebook was perhaps singularly responsible for the outcome of the US Elections in 2016, the company has been keen to ensure the public of its commitment to not only keeping safe and private information that users trust it with, but also the manner in which it allows only verified and verifiable information to be broadcast among its users.