Facebook to Tweak Trending Topics

NicoleMotta - May 24, 2016 - 11:00 AM

Facebook to Tweak Trending Topics

Following a two-week internal investigation, Facebook has announced that it is making changes to reduce bias risk.

(CCM) — On Monday, Facebook said that it found no political bias or manipulation in its Trending Topics section, but the company is still making changes to the news feature. "Last week we met with Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee John Thune to describe our investigation in response to anonymous allegations of political bias in our Trending Topics feature and to discuss the preliminary results of our work," explained Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch in a blog post. "As soon as we heard of these allegations, we initiated an investigation into the policies and practices around Trending Topics to determine if anyone working on the product acted in ways that are inconsistent with our policies and mission." This investigation "revealed no evidence of systematic political bias" and the company was "unable to substantiate any of the specific allegations of politically-motivated suppression of particular subjects or sources."

While Facebook did not find any issues with its Trending Topics, the company said that it is making several changes to the service to improve the product and minimize the risk of isolated improper actions or unintentional bias. To do this, Facebook will update the terminology in its Guidelines, offer refresher training for all reviewers to ensure that content decisions are unbiased, and offer additional controls and oversight around its review team. The company said that it will also eliminate the "Media 1K" list and the ability to assign an "importance level" to a topic.

Photo: © iStock.
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