"There are other ways for us to better invest our resources", Hardiman said.
But Alex Hardiman, the company's head of news products, said in a blog post that users are shifting to consuming news on their phones and through video. It addressed fake news accusations by adding new labels and working with third-party groups to review the veracity of stories posted on the site. After Facebook fired those editors, the algorithms it replaced them with couldn't always distinguish real news from fake. But she said Facebook's focus now is prioritizing trustworthy, informative news that people find useful. It also proved problematic in ways that hinted at Facebook's later problems with fake news, political balance and the limitations of AI in managing the human world.
Over 80 news publishers are now testing the "breaking news" label, which allows them to opt to flag their Instant Articles, mobile and web links, and Facebook Live video as breaking news, the company tells us.
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How the platform approached its role as a news disseminator has sparked heavy criticism across a number of different groups. It's being tested out in 30 markets in the U.S. Hardiman says the goal is to help "elevate great local journalism". The section, which appears to the right of the main news feed on the desktop and in search on mobile, has been a lightning rod for criticism nearly since its launch in 2014.
The company is also funding news videos, created exclusively for Facebook by publishers it would not yet name.
When Facebook launched "trending" in 2014 as a list of headlines to the side of the main news feed, it was a straightforward move to steal users from Twitter by giving them a quick look at the most popular news of the moment. The product is still in what Facebook calls "alpha" testing, which indicates it's very early days for this feature - an alpha test precedes a beta test, which itself is ahead of a public launch. The feature accounted for an average of less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers from.
Facebook says the trending section was never popular.