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After an internal investigation, Facebook is changing the way Trending Topics will display. Recently the social media group was accused of "tampering with its Trending Topics feature, promoting 'progressive' views and websites over content presenting views from the American right."

Facebook's Trending Topics currently uses an algorithm utilizing Artificial Intelligence and human input. The subjects also include feeds from 1,000 media outlets. While speaking with Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, outlined that the investigation showed that almost half of the topics suggested using the algorithm are rejected "because they do not make sense at the time or are duplicative." Once topics become "stale" or "junk" they are left out of the Trending Topics.

There are so many topics to choose that some are disregarded because of the inability of team to translate from a foreign language or the length of the topic. For example, the Black Lives Matter hashtag which could have been manually added did not appear in the Trending Topics. The topic of Ferguson, however, was added to accommodate for this oversight.

The full findings of the investigation are available for review in 12-page letter addressed to US Senator John Thune who brought the issue of Trending Topics to the attention of Facebook. Expect to see some changes in how Trending Topics will be handled in the future.


Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:55 AM by Dean's Team
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