"Trending Topics" was launched in 2014 to surface major conversations happening on Facebook.. “Trending Topics” was launched in 2014 to surface major conversations happening on Facebook.
Amid allegations that a team of editors at Facebook is manipulating the popular “Trending Topics” by “injecting” selected articles to promote a particular perspective, the social media giant has reiterated that it does not allow or advise its reviewers to discriminate against sources of any political origin.
A report in technology website Gizmodo had accused Facebook of an editorial bias against conservative news organisations which led to a call for a congressional inquiry from Senator John Thune (Rep) from South Dakota and chair of US Senate commerce committee which has jurisdiction over media issues.
The panel has also sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking for answers related to the “Trending Topics” row.
“Yes. We take these reports very seriously and will continue to investigate the allegations. We have found no evidence to date that ‘Trending Topics’ was successfully manipulated but will continue the review of all our practices,” posted Justin Osofsky, vice president, global operations, Facebook, on Thursday.
Read: Canon EOS 1300D #ExpressReview: Best entry-level DSLR is now smartphone ready
“The guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. About 40 percent of the topics in the queue get rejected by the reviewers because they reflect what is considered “noise” – a random word or name that lots of people are using in lots of different ways,” he said, adding that this tool is not used to suppress or remove articles or topics from a particular perspective.
“Trending Topics” was launched in 2014 to surface major conversations happening on Facebook.Read MoreFacebook Trending topics controversy: Here's what has happened so farFacebook launches probe into allegations of political biasFacebook denies injecting selected articles in 'Trending Topics'Explained: Facebook Trending Topics and the controversy around itFacebook conducting full investigation into Trending news bias reports, says Mark Zuckerberg
It appears on right-hand side on desktop as well as when you tap on the search box in the mobile app and primarily for people using Facebook in English (there are limited tests being run in Spanish and Portuguese).
“At its core, ‘Trending Topics’ is designed to help people discover major events and meaningful conversations,” Osofsky posted.
According to him, “Trending Topics” team is governed by a set of guidelines meant to ensure a high-quality product, consistent with Facebook’s deep commitment to being a platform for people of all viewpoints.
“The guidelines demonstrate that we have a series of checks and balances in place to help surface the most important popular stories, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum. Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to discriminate against sources of any political origin, period,” Osofsky stressed.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that it has access to leaked documents that show “how Facebook relies on old-fashioned news values on top of its algorithms to determine what the hottest stories will be for the one billion people who visit the social network every day”.
Also Read: Meizu m3 note wont get Android Marshmallow soon, but the company is not worried
The documents show that Facebook relies on the intervention of a small editorial team to determine what makes its “trending module” headlines, the report added.
In a reply to this, Osofsky posted: “Potential ‘Trending Topics’ are first surfaced by an algorithm that identifies topics that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook”.
“The ‘Trending Topics’ algorithm also uses an external RSS website crawler to identify breaking events so that we can connect people to conversations on Facebook about newsworthy events as quickly as possible,” he noted.
“We have a series of checks and balances in place to help surface the most important popular stories, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum, as well as to eliminate noise that does not relate to a current newsworthy event but might otherwise be surfaced through our algorithm,” Osofsky clarified.
Watch all our video reviews
The list of “Trending Topics” is then personalised for each user via an algorithm that relies on a number of factors, including the importance of the topic, Pages a person has liked, location, feedback provided by the user about previous Trending Topics and what’s trending across Facebook overall.
“Trending is also integrated into Facebook Search so you can search for any Trending topic that may not show up in your Trending suggestions,” the post read.
Follow Express Techie on Facebook for the latest stories on technology, reviews and more. Or you can tweet out to us @expresstechie for tips, latest tech news.
San Bernardino DA claims extremists iPhone could contain a cyber pathogen.
San Bernardino County District Attorney claims Farook might have used the phone to transmit a "lying-dormant cyber pathogen' into county data systems. A security researcher has claimed that San Bernardino shooter...
Apple wants to sell refurbished iPhones in India.
Apple plans to sell refurbished iPhones in India soon, seeks permission from the government. Apple plans to sell refurbished iPhones in India soon, seeks permission from the government
Tech giant Apple has soug...
Apple unlocking San Bernardino iPhone could set a dangerous precedent: UN.
An FBI demand that Apple unlock an iPhone risks setting a dangerous precedent, the United Nations rights chief warned.. An FBI demand that Apple unlock an iPhone risks setting a dangerous precedent, the United Nati...
Freedom 251: Ringing Bells bought Adcom handsets for Rs 3,600 each.
Adcom said that it sold mobile handsets to Ringing Bells for Rs 3,600 a unit and was unaware of its plans to resell the device at Rs 251.. IT products firm Adcom said that it sold mobile handsets to Ringing Bells f...
After WhatsApp, Instagram now blocks Telegram.
Instagram has disallowed deep-linking profiles to third-party apps including Snapchat and Telegram.. Soon after WhatsApp blocked links to rival messaging app Telegram on Android smartphones, Instagram has also disa...
Call drops: SC denies interim relief to telecom operators on HC order.
SC denies interim relief to telecom companies against the Delhi HC order, will hear it again on March 10. SC has refused interim relief to telecom operators on call drop compensation issue
The Supreme Court tod...
Jays launches u-JAYS premium headphones at Rs 15,990 in India.
The u-JAYS will be one of the most premium headphones available in India at sub-Rs 20k segment. u-JAYS are the most premium set of headphones from the Sweden-based company (Source: Headphone Zone)
Jays, the Swe...
Apple brings customer support service to Twitter.
Apple, in order to extend support to its customers has launched a Twitter account by the name of @AppleSupport on Thursday.. Apple, in order to extend support to its customers has launched a Twitter account by the ...
Hubble telescope spots a galaxy 13.4 billion light-years away from Earth.
Astronomers discover a galaxy that formed just 400 million years after the Big Bang explosion, the most distant galaxy found to date. Astronomers discover a galaxy that formed just 400 million years after the Big B...
Gionee Marathon M5 Lite #ExpressReview: You must really need that battery.
Gionee Marathon M5 Lite will once again focus on delivering overall performance with battery being the USP. Here is our review.. Gionee Marathon M5 Lite is a lighter version of its predecessor that comes with a 4,0...
Xiaomi eyes offline market pie, steps away from Flipkart.
Xiaomi goes offline in a bid to scale its own e-commerce operations in India. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra literally turned himself into demigod of Mi devices at the Redmi Note 3 launch (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)
Amazon Echo Dot and Echo Tap launched with Alexa inside.
Amazon Echo Tap and Echo Dot speakers are designed to amplify the role of its voice-controlled assistant, Alexa. Amazon Echo Dot is a tiny little speaker with Alexa virtual assistant that can be connected to other ...
Amazon drops encryption feature in Fire tablet software.
Amazon.com Inc has quietly dropped support for disk encryption on its Fire tablets, says the feature is less used by customers. Amazon drops encryption for its Fire tablets at a time when Apple is fighting over iPh...
Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech companies file court papers backing Apple.
Leading tech companies joined security experts, independent programmers and civil liberties advocates who filed court papers backing Apple in its fight with the FBI. Tech companies and security experts sign ‘...
Mi India story is very much alive, says Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra.
“Questions were being raised about us. Some asked if the Mi India story was over. We want to say that the Mi India story is very much alive. Mi India has not lost its magic,” said Barra.. Xiaomi Redmi N...
Samsung T3 SSDs introduced for India, start at Rs 10,999 for 250 GB.
Samsung SSD T3 supports proprietary Vertical NAND (V-NAND) and SSD Turbowrite technology. It comes with a capacity of up to 2TB. Samsung SSD T3 is the latest solid state drive from Korean electronics company that o...
Xiaomis 2016 flagship, Mi 5 to launch in India within a month, says Hugo Barra.
Xiaomi Mi 5 India launch could happen as early as next month. Xiaomi Mi 5 is set to launch in India as early as next month, could be the cheapest Snapdragon 820 device
Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra on Thursday...
Now take selfies using UltraProlink Hi-Q1 bluetooth speakers.
UltraProlink has launched Hi-Q1 Selfie Bluetooth speaker, that enables users to click selfies while listening to music. . UltraProlink has launched Hi-Q1 Selfie Bluetooth speaker, that enables users to click selfie...
Indian manufacturers face heat as Apple makes inroads into urban India: IDC.
Samsung, Micromax and Lenovo-Motorola own the top three slots in the smartphone market comprising the top 30 cities of India, with Apple coming to the sixth slot in this urban list.. The top 30 cities make up appro...
DishTV products, services now available on Amazon India.
DishTV has announced that all of its products and services will now be available online on Amazon.in. . DishTV has announced that all of its products and services will now be available online on Amazon.in.