The “Trending” section on Facebook is receiving another facelift from the social media giant.
Topics will be selected based on user engagement, interaction with the publisher and how many clicks each topic receives.
The reason behind the update still remains as a method to remove bias.
Fake news has also been the subject of credibility for Facebook. Reports still linking clickbait, ad-fraud, and various other methods creating an influx of misinformation.
“Trending uses a variety of signals from News Feed, including when people report news as fake or spam, to help prevent fake news, hoaxes or spam from appearing in Trending. Today’s update may also help prevent hoaxes and fake news from appearing in Trending because the updated system identifies groups of articles shared on Facebook instead of relying solely on mentions of a topic.”
-Will Cathcart, Facebook VP of product management.
Although steps are being taken in the right direction, this is not an ultimate solution.
Media Matters, Angelo Carusone had this to say:
“While moving in the right direction, these half-measures will not stop the rampant lies spreading on the platform. We can’t forget that Facebook made the problem of fake news significantly worse when they acted on right-wing misinformation and fired all their human editors over the summer and let their algorithms get gamed.”
Facebook’s firing of the human aspect of news was meant to remove bias, but the issues that stemmed from switching over to an algorithm created a larger quagmire.
False news ran rampant, anyone with a blog could spend money via Facebook Boost regardless of the integrity. Thus, many articles that had limited credibility (if that) could pay to have their article shared amongst a larger crowd depending on how much they spent.
With Facebook, as well as Google, now cracking down on the spread of false information, the right steps are being taken, albeit baby steps.