Facebook announced over the weekend that it is removing the Trending News section of its site “to make way for future news experiences on Facebook”.
They will be ditching it this week, replacing it with a handful of new labels: Breaking News, Today In (which “connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organisations”) and News Video in Watch: “where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.”
The ostensible reasoning for this is the user shift away from desktop device to mobile, and “increasingly through news video” but a new labelling system will fail to address the actual problem: that people are far less trusting of Facebook — and therefore the “news” it puts in front of us — then they were this time last year.
Since the the Cambridge Analytica fallout, the rise of Trump and his “fake news” catch cry, and Zuckerberg’s robotic congressional testimony, social media has become a less trustworthy way to receive news. A “satire” tag has done very little to stop news outlets re-reporting such satire as fact, and this when human error in involved, rather than purposeful deception.
So, who can you trust?
Us. We hope. And other news sites that hire and pay journalists with training, who have built a reputation for fact-checking, not just regurgitating news quickly and without checking sources, and who break and report news – rather than command-V-thesaurus-click-grabbing.
So listen to our daily news podcast, subscribe to our newsletter – and bookmark the news sites you trust, and visit those hubs, rather than relying on what has already proven to be a broken and easily compromised news feed from a company that profits from mining your data and selling personal information to advertisers.