Why Facebook Changed Its Trending Feature
Facebook recently made a change to the popular feature called ‘Trending’, which sums up the top topics of discussion of the day and displays them alongside your newsfeed. The change was made in order to eliminate human bias and make the process more automated.
As the social networking giant grows bigger and more influential, it has made several attempts to stress on its neutrality. This update is the latest attempt announced by Facebook Inc.
The change was made following allegations from a news report that said Facebook was suppressing conservative news. A demand made by U.S. Congress Republican members for greater transparency, prompted the company to launch a probe into the internal workings. Though no evidence was found, this scrutiny encouraged Facebook to rethink the feature and its algorithm.
Located in the right top-corner of the homepage, the Trending feature used to show users what was the most talked about topic of the day, followed by a short description of one sentence. These descriptions were previously written by editors of Facebook. However now, in order to remove any chance for personal bias to seep through, the feature simply displays the topics and the number of Facebook users that are talking about it.
An email statement from Facebook to the press said that now the team in charge of the Trending feature, will be compromised more of those with technical expertise rather than editors who have now been made obsolete.
Facebook which has grown to more than 1.7 billion users as of July 2016, has been under the scanner for the length of its political influence. This is because, no matter how firmly the social networking site stands on its neutrality, its power to influence the public cannot be disputed. If Facebook can get you to vote and even donate your organs (something that has been tried in numerous ways), it can certainly get you to alter your political beliefs!
While the new feature requires users to be a little more proactive to actually know in depth what is happening in the world, it has definitely checked all the boxes to make it seem like a more transparent system.
Picture courtesy – eghtesadonline.com
by techtalks @TechTalks September 27, 2016 5:28 AM UTC