Facebook is deleting its problematic Trending Topics section as the social network rethinks how to showcase news. In recent months, Facebook has launched several initiatives to address accusations of political bias, misinformation and transparency in political advertising.
While Facebook got attention for the problems the trending section had - perhaps because it seemed popular with journalists - neither its existence nor its removal makes much difference in regards to Facebook's broader problems with news.
"I consider us to be a technology company because the primary thing that we do is have engineers who write code and build product and services for other people", he told Congress.
Over 80 news publishers are now testing the "breaking news" label, which allows them to opt to flag their Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live video as breaking news, the company tells us.
Facebook's reaction to that 2016 controversy - to pull human moderators off Trending Topics so it's stocked purely by an algorithm - has been cited as opening the door for larger scandals like electorate tampering and misinformation campaigns.
"From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, said in post on the social media giant's website. First came a report that its human editors were biased against conservatives.
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Facebook has occasionally gotten in trouble because of Trending, which could get confused and surface objectionable content and Fake News. We're also testing breaking news notifications.
"There are other ways for us to better invest our resources", Hardiman said.
The relationship between journalism and Facebook has always been fraught.
How the platform approached its role as a news disseminator has sparked heavy criticism across a number of different groups.
Another feature, called "Today In", shows people breaking news in their area from local publishers, officials and organizations. Facebook fired the team, and since then, algorithms have been largely responsible for governing what goes into the Trending sidebar, which is prominently displayed at the top of the desktop site.
Detailed in a press release, Facebook says that its trending feature was only available in select countries and didn't prove to be popular.