Facebook fights fake news with ‘Trending’ algorithm update

Facebook fights fake news with ‘Trending’ algorithm update
Facebook has announced changes to its ‘Trending’ section, which it claims may help prevent the spread of fake news. Three changes are to be made to the section which shows users’ topics that are trending based on engagement.

The updates may “help prevent hoaxes and fake news from appearing in Trending,” Facebook’s Will Cathcart wrote in a blog post.

Previously a topic was identified with a basic array of keywords. Now, however, a headline from a publisher will be attached to each trending topic, in a move Facebook claim will add more context to the subject. The headline will be selected from a publisher based on engagement with the article, as well as if other news sites are linking to it.

“An improved system to determine what is trending” will see topics no longer derived from a popular single post or article, instead the number of publishers that are publishing articles based around that topic and the level of engagement with those articles will be used to determine what is trending.

The latest update will also see users across the platform seeing the same trending topics, no longer being personalized to interest or location.

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Facebook said the changes have already been implemented and will be available in all regions over the coming week.