Facebook was recently accused of altering the trending topics listed on their site to purposefully remove conservative topics from the trending ones on the side of the main page. After a personal investigation, Facebook didn’t see that there was any wrongdoing, but despite this fact, they have decided to make a couple of changes just so that they can make sure nothing like this ever happens.
During the investigation that Facebook did on their process for choosing trending topics they found that conservative and liberal topics were actually represented almost equally making it so that topics like the Black Lives Matter campaign were just as likely to come up as a story from the conservative side of things. They determined that there was no bias on their website when it came to picking the stories that they would mark as trending.
To make sure that the process stays unbiased, Facebook is making a few changes. They are planning to remove their reliance on a specific list of news outlets to validate different stories and look at their relevance as a whole. They are also going to stop having an importance level given to the topics based on their prevalence in top news outlets. The goal is to make the algorithm much less biased this way.
One of the other big changes they will be making is to crack down a bit on their team of individuals that actually review the different topics that are trending. These teams will have meetings to talk about making unbiased decisions on what shows up and what doesn’t. They will also be watched more closely to ensure that there are not unfair decisions that are being made based on a person’s individual ideology. With these changes they hope to improve their lists of trending topics and continue to provide an unbiased list of high ranking topics.