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Facebook removing ‘Trending’ news from News Feed

Facebook is getting rid of its ‘Trending’ tab in users’ News Feeds on the platform. The company announced the upcoming change in a blog post on Friday. Less than 2% of clicks for publishers came from the trending tab, Facebook said. “From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful. We will remove Trending from Facebook next week and we will also remove products and third-party partner integrations that rely on the Trends API.”

While the Trending tab has been around since 2014, Facebook removed the human curators who would describe and edit the trends that users saw in different parts of the world in 2016. That firing happened amid allegations of bias against conservatives in the run-up to the US presidential election.

Recent Facebook updates

These changes to Facebook’s approach to news comes amid its (cue drumroll) ongoing efforts to combat fake news and propaganda. Here are some recent updates from the company:

  • In April, Facebook announced that it was tightening rules for campaign ads and will require political advertisers to follow some guidelines. On Sunday, the New York Times published a piece pointing out how a progressive group had managed to place misleading ads resembling news articles despite these rules.
  • In May, Facebook announced that it was piloting a program to tackle revenge porn by having users submit images they think may be posted by others.
  • In an ongoing audit of how third party apps’ permissions were abused, the company recently suspended over 200 apps. More suspensions may follow after the audit has been completed.

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