World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

More details about the editorial control behind Facebook's "trending news" surface

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

More details about the editorial control behind Facebook's "trending news" surface

Although Facebook has an algorithm that determines which topics are trending on its platform, former Facebook “news curators” revealed that the curators would also have a role in the process of deciding what is included as “trending news”. For instance, stories covered by conservative outlets that were picked up by the algorithm were prevented from appearing on the trending list, unless mainstream sites also covered them.

Occasionally the curators used an “injection tool” to amplify topics that weren’t being shared enough to be “trending”, but were deemed as worthy for inclusion. They also had to be very cautious about covering Facebook, as any such stories had to be approved by management.

It seems therefore that Facebook internally recognises that it is not a fully neutral platform for shared news, but should also exercise editorial discretion. Now it would do well to be publicly more explicit about its editorial judgement and how it affects its news coverage.


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2016-05-10 11:03

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.

© 2020 WAN-IFRA - World Association of News Publishers

Footer Navigation