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Facebook To Revamp Trending Topics

trending topics
An example of the column, which appears on the right hand side of the platform for logged-on members (Facebook)

Facebook has announced changes to the way it runs its Trending Topics feed, following an internal investigation.

There will be more training for staff and the feed will no longer rely on a list of news organisations, including the BBC, Washington Post and Buzzfeed News, to validate subjects.

The feed, which lists popular headlines along with a brief description, has been accused of political bias.

However, Facebook’s report found no evidence of this.

Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said the investigation analysed 3,000 reviewer decisions following allegations that conservative issues were being suppressed.

The site was accused by anonymous former employees of tampering with its Trending Topics feature, promoting “progressive” views and websites over content presenting views from the American right.

Current and former staff were also interviewed by the firm.

The findings were revealed in a 12-page letter, addressed to US Senator John Thune but also published online, in response to Mr Thune’s questions about the workings of Trending.

The Trending Topics feed currently works as a mixture of AI and human input, with potential subjects being suggested via algorithm and then reviewed by staff.