When Trusting What's Trending on Facebook Goes Wrong
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Trusting Facebook Trending

Can you trust what’s trending on Facebook? Learn what changes have been made to help answer ‘yes’ to that question.

Shaquanda Cole

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Some Issues With Facebook Trending

Social media is the hub of interaction in today’s society. People engage more on social networking sites than they do in real life.


Facebook is one of the most prevalent sites on the internet. People go to Facebook for various reasons. Some users log on just to check their timeline for the daily updates.  There are also users that log on to play games while they pass the time at work. Other users log on to see the latest dirt on their favorite celebrity. Regardless of the reason, users are overloaded with information. There is so much to take in at first glance.

One piece of information that many users pay close attention to is the trending menu. This area is eye-catching. It draws each user in. The trending menu shows users what everyone else is discussing. The menu appears on the right sidebar of the home page. The trending menu displays topics that are popular across the internet. At one point, the trending menu included summaries of each topic. Each curator contributed. The assigned curators typed the summaries based on the associated story. Interviews with former curators revealed that there is extra precaution used when topics are selected as a trending topic. That extra precaution is mostly taken when Facebook is the topic of discussion.

Multiple people have given Facebook grief about their trending topics. The main allegation against Facebook is conservative bias. Facebook representatives deny any biases in their process. In May of 2016, Gizmodo reported that #blacklivesmatter did not trend despite how heavy the topic was being discussed on the website. The article also stated that the topic was later added to the trending menu. Injections help with some of this. Reviewer injections boost the topic to the trending menu.

Months later, there is more controversy. News Anchor Megyn Kelly became the topic of discussion. Her story seems to be the catalyst of change. According to Facebook, Megyn was fired for supporting Hillary Clinton. The story quickly went viral. The false report was trending on Facebook and none of the editors caught it. Facebook is now in the process of recreating their staff.

Damage Control

In regard to trending topics, Facebook has plans. They are changing the way topics trend. They are changing the way the menu looks. As a result, trending topics will now be sent through an algorithm. Editors will have to approve topics. Facebook also decided to eliminate the summary. The goal is to reduce false reports. This brings Facebook does not want to be the focus of turmoil.

Social media has grown into more than just a place to laugh and share memories. It has also become a place to gather and share information. It has become ground zero for networking. Consequently, it has ruined relationships and started tongue wars. Social media has changed a great deal since its inception. It is certain that change will continue. As users, everyone has to be responsible. Especially when it comes to trending topics. Everything on the internet is not true. This is absolutely the case with social media. In conclusion, each person has to take what social media gives at face value.

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