Facebook updating its ‘trending topics’ feature to shun fake news

Facebook has confirmed that it is tweaking its "trending topics" algorithm as part of its effort to root out fake news stories and better reflect real news.

The social-networking giant's trending-topics list will now consist of topics being covered by numerous publishers. Previously, this feature focused on subjects drawing the largest crowds of users sharing or commenting on posts.

Will Cathcart, vice president of product management for the company, said the changes were intended at making the platform a more reliable source of information by steering hordes of its users toward trending topics reflecting real world events covered by multiple outlets.

Every user in the same region will now see the same topics as previously-available personal preferences are now out of the equation.

In a blog post, the company wrote, "Facebook will no longer be personalized based on someone's interests. Everyone in the same region will see the same topics. For now, a region is considered a country, so everyone in the U.S. should see the same topics."

The trending list in question was introduced in 2014 in response to the popularity of similar features on rival platforms like Twitter. With its nearly 1.8 billion users around the globe, Facebook is the world's most influential social-networking platform.