Facebook says it will shut down its trending topic section
9:05 AM, Jun 1, 2018
9:44 AM, Jun 1, 2018
Facebook is shutting down its trending topics section, a feature that was intended to highlight interesting conversations on the platform but ended up creating political headaches for the company.
The section will be removed from Facebook next week, the company said Friday.
"It was only available in five countries and accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average," Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, said in a blog post Friday. "From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful."
The trending topics section officially launched in 2014 with the promise of helping users "discover the best content from all across Facebook." It was similar to a feature offered by Twitter.
But in 2016, an anonymous former Facebook contractor alleged that colleagues at the company suppressed news about "popular conservative topics" from the trending section.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, later met with conservative commentators and leaders to defuse an uproar over the allegations. Facebook also ditched human moderators for the section and relied instead on algorithms.