In its announcement on Friday (June 1), Facebook said the section was driving only marginal traffic to news publishers.
The contractor claimed Facebook downplayed conservative issues and promoted liberal causes. "From research we found that over time people found the product to be less and less useful", said Hardiman. In answer, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had found no evidence of this, but insisted steps would be taken to remedy the situation if evidence emerged.
The trending topics section officially launched in 2014 with the promise of helping users "discover the best content from all across Facebook". But at that time fake news was not a popular term and no foreign country had been accused of trying to influence the United States elections through social media, as Russian Federation would be.More news: Bobby Brown Wants to 'Slap' Kanye West for Whitney Houston Photo
Facebook said it is working with 80 publishers in Australia, Europe, India, and the Americas on a "Breaking News" label to adorn posts in News Feed.
One reason the feature is so little used could be that it's not immediately visible on Facebook's app or mobile version, where most people use the site. It amassed notoriety in 2016 after a Gizmodo report that detailed allegations of the trending team suppressing conservative news.
A Facebook Watch zone for online video viewing will soon get a news section complete with live coverage, daily briefings, and "deep dives", he added.
Today In: We're testing a dedicated section on Facebook called Today In that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
The changes arrive at a time when Facebook has been held accountable for allowing the spread of fake news across its network, and it has responded with a host of fake news-fighting features like fact checking, adding publisher context, the addition of related articles, shrinking fake news in the News Feed, and other initiatives.