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Facebook to pull plug on ‘Trending’ topics feature

Facebook Inc said on Friday it will remove the ‘Trending’ topics feature that compiles popular news from its social network, as it seeks to ensure users see news from what it will decide are trustworthy and quality sources.

The move, effective next week, comes at a time when the world’s largest social network is combating the spread of fake news on its platform, which has in some places become central to the distribution of news.

Trending accounted for less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publishers on average, Facebook said in a blog post, adding the company was testing ways to display news including a ‘breaking news label’ and ‘today in’, a dedicated section for local news.

The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives, for-profit spammers and others reportedly spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

Facebook had in the past few years made changes to the Trending topics feature to avoid ideological or political bias.

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Reuters News Service


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