Publish your content on The Drum

Facebook’s trending content to now be algorithmically generated

Facebook’s trending content to now be algorithmically generated.

Facebook will no longer task editors to write descriptions for posts in its Trending section, which was mired in controversy earlier this year over allegations of political bias.

Topics that appear in the section will now be shown as short, algorithmically selected posts alongside the number of people talking about it, the social network revealed in a blog post. Human editors will no longer play a role in picking the topics featured other than for verifying quality.

The decision to reduce human involvement in the content stems from an internal investigation in the wake of a Gizmodo report in May that claimed the Trending section was biased against conservative news outlets. Citing accounts from former editors of the section, the report claimed they were told to feature certain topics even if they weren’t popular.

Facebook said it found “no evidence” of “systematic bias”. However, the changes will make it easier for it to scale the service, which would be hard to do if it relied solely on human editors to summarise topics.

“Facebook is a platform for all ideas, and we’re committed to maintaining Trending as a way for people to access a breadth of ideas and commentary about a variety of topics,” it said in a blog post.

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy