Facebook updating 'trending' feature to curb fake news

Facebook updating 'trending' feature to curb fake news

Facebook is updating its "trending" feature to better curb fake news stories that proliferated on the platform in 2016.

The company’s trending section was previously based on user engagement to highlight topics and stories popular on the platform.

The changes will now include identifying a publisher below each topic. Facebook will also use a new method to determine what stories are trending, and will check to see if multiple publishers are discussing a story or topic.

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Another change will also display the same topics to all users in a particular region, instead of giving each individual user their own personalized trending topics.

“Today’s update may also help prevent hoaxes and fake news from appearing in Trending because the updated system identifies groups of articles shared on Facebook instead of relying solely on mentions of a topic,” said Will Cathcart, Facebook’s vice president of product management, in a post explaining the changes.

It’s the latest step from the social media giant to crack down on fake stories after criticism. Facebook has already put in place other features to identify stories that might be hoaxes or false.