Facebook ditches trending news section

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According to the Pew Research Centre, 44% of United States adults get some or all of their news through Facebook.

"We're testing a dedicated section on Facebook called Today In that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations".

"There are other ways for us to better invest our resources", Hardiman told the AP. It amassed notoriety in 2016 after a Gizmodo report that detailed allegations of the trending team suppressing conservative news. The company tried to temper this by removing human reviewers who helped manage trending topics in favor of supposedly unbiased algorithms. By contrast, he said, deciding what news stories should go in "trending" requires broad thinking, quick judgments about context and decisions about whether someone is trying to game the system.

Facebook said the feature was only available in five countries and accounted for roughly 1.5 percent of the traffic to news publishers' sites.

"We're exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources", Alex Hardiman, Facebook's head of news products, said in a blog post.

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Conservatives have often charged Facebook with being biased against them, grilling Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue in an April hearing. Facebook continues to face criticism from right-leaning circles. Yet two years later, Facebook still hasn't been able to shake the notion of bias.

The company has also been reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Today In section, which is being piloted in 33 U.S. cities, is driving an average of 8 percent more traffic outbound from Facebook to the publishers themselves.

The "breaking news" tag, which is being tested by 80 publishers, has caused a 4 percent increase in people clicking through links and an 11 percnent lift in people sharing those stories.

Facebook said it is also testing a new section called "Today In", which displays local breaking news, and a dedicated section of Facebook Watch in the USA for live videos and other items exclusive to the platform.

Facebook has occasionally gotten in trouble because of Trending, which could get confused and surface objectionable content and Fake News.

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