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Facebook Tweaks Its “Trending” Feed Algorithm To Deal With Fake News


Facebook is tweaking its Trending algorithm to deal more with fake news which it has been accused of doing little to solve over the years. The big change in trending topics is that it will now rely on known news outlets to determine what is real or not. Before now you would see trending topics based on your engagement with posts and articles. But the big problem with the old method was that it led to a rise of the fake news era; a problem which peaked when the current US president won the election last November.

FB trending-final-screenshot

In the new update too, you will now get more regional tailored trends which by itself has the capacity to reduce fake news. This means that you would easily get updates from news outlets and organisations based in your area and this gives you the capacity to easily compare and contrast. Before now, the more you interact with articles, posts and pages that you like, you get a trending feed based on that and that has a way of misleading you too because it means you’re one sided with respect to what you receive. Now you will be presented with a broader list of trending topics.

The other thing as seen in the image above is that you will now see headlines below the trending topics. This is like what you see in Twitter and Google News. But Facebook adds that it will choose featured headlines based on the number of times it has been cited by other articles and overall engagement. The aim according to Facebook is to give you an idea of why a topic is trending before you click on it.

The Trending feed was launched in 2014 and is currently available to users in the US, UK, Canada, India and Australia.

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