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Facebook cuts Trending section in bid to swap broken news for breaking news

Facebook has announced it is removing its Trending News feature from the site, following the damaging spread of untrustworthy content via the social network.

The company says the move is designed to ensure the news users see on Facebook derives from “trustworthy and quality sources”.

In a blog post on Friday, Facebook sought to play down the relevance of the section, saying the Trending tab on the right side of the site only accounted for 1.5% of clicks to news publishers.

The company also said users are now experiencing news through the mobile app and increasingly via videos, rather than written articles.

Related: How to delete your Facebook account

Facebook writes: “People tell us they want to stay informed about what is happening around them. We are committed to ensuring the news that people see on Facebook is high quality, and we’re investing in ways to better draw attention to breaking news when it matters most.”

As part of the commitment to higher quality news, Facebook is already testing a Breaking News label with 80 publishers around the world, while also playing around with breaking news notifications.

The firm is also testing a new section called “Today In”, which pertains to local news from publishers, officials and organisations. Finally, the company said there’ll be a dedicated section in Facebook Watch for video news.

Today’s post is the latest sign the company is treading a little more lightly following multiple scandals in the last couple of years.

The under-fire company is still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, while it has also been questioned on the spread of fake news and the potential impact on the Brexit vote and the US presidential election.

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