Facebook is producing several changes to its trending subjects feature following an investigation stemming from anonymous allegations of political bias, the social network's basic counsel announced in a newsroom post on Monday.
Facebook launched an investigation earlier this month right after tech site Gizmodo cited an anonymous source who mentioned the social network's "news curators" had been instructed to artificially "inject" chosen stories into Facebook's "Trending Topics" checklist.
Desktop users can see trending topics in the upper correct side of their Facebook newsfeed.
Getting rid of Reliance on News Retailers
Colin Stretch, Facebook's common counsel, outlined in a newsroom post many alterations the social network plans to put into action, including no longer relying on a select listing of news retailers and internet sites as a way to instantly nominate subjects for the trending attribute.
As a outcome, a "Media 1K" listing of feeds, which had been employed with an algorithm to surface potential trending subjects, will be eradicated, along with the ability to add an "relevance level" to a topic based mostly on its prominence in a leading-ten listing of media sources, in accordance to Stretch.
Coaching and Transparency
Facebook is social media services also organizing refresher coaching for all reviewers and pledged to add much more info in its aid center about how the Trending Subjects function is populated.
"These improvements and safeguards are created not only to ensure that Facebook remains a platform that is open and welcoming to all groups and folks, but also to restore any loss of believe in in the Trending Topics feature," Stretch explained.
Facebook's Findings From the Investigation
Despite the changes to Trending Topics, Facebook's investigation identified there was "no proof of systematic political bias in the choice or prominence of stories incorporated in the Trending Subjects characteristic," Stretch said. Facebook's investigation was also unable to substantiate certain allegations of "politically-motivated suppression of particular topics or sources," he added.
Nonetheless, the investigation was not able to low cost the probability of an person straying.
Along with the investigation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg welcomed leading conservatives to Facebook's campus final week for a discussion about ensuring the social network stays an open platform to all ideas.
"Our community's success depends on every person feeling comfortable sharing anything at all they want," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook submit last week. "It isn't going to make sense for our mission or our company to suppress political content or stop anyone from seeing what issues most to them."