Select All: It’s Time to End ‘Trending’

Select All: It’s Time to End ‘Trending’. “What does it mean, exactly, for something to be ‘trending’? YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter all make frequent use of the term, but none of them have a public or transparent definition — let alone a common one. When we sort through our feeds, ‘latest’ has an obvious chronological sorting mechanism; even ‘popular’ has a fairly clear and agreed-upon definition. ‘Trending,’ however, does not.”

Wired: Inside The Two Years That Shook Facebook—and The World

Wired: Inside The Two Years That Shook Facebook—and The World. “[Benjamin] Fearnow, a recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, worked in Facebook’s New York office on something called Trending Topics, a feed of popular news subjects that popped up when people opened Facebook. The feed was generated by an algorithm but moderated by a team of about 25 people with backgrounds in journalism. If the word ‘Trump’ was trending, as it often was, they used their news judgment to identify which bit of news about the candidate was most important. If The Onion or a hoax site published a spoof that went viral, they had to keep that out. If something like a mass shooting happened, and Facebook’s algorithm was slow to pick up on it, they would inject a story about it into the feed.”