Facebook will no longer have humans write descriptions for news stories that appear in the Trending topics box, the company announced on Friday.
Algorithms will instead sort topics and show the number of people on Facebook talking about each topic at a given moment.
Here’s the old vs. new look for Trending:
The change comes after a Gizmodo story in May that said Facebook contractors routinely suppressed conservative news outlets from appearing in the Trending section.
“Our goal is to enable Trending for as many people as possible, which would be hard to do if we relied solely on summarizing topics by hand,” according to a Facebook blog post. “A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time. This is something we always hoped to do but we are making these changes sooner given the feedback we got from the Facebook community earlier this year.”
Facebook says that humans are still involved in selecting which topics are actual news events and not simply reoccurring discussions (like #lunch), but humans will no longer write descriptions and summaries of news events.
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