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How Facebook decides what’s trending

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New York: Ever wondered how Facebook determines what you see in your news feed every time you log in? The social networking site has actually devised different algorithms for it.

20-1437396013-facebook-25Apart from things like where you live and the pages you follow, it primarily looks for two broader signals — Topics that are being mentioned a lot and topics that suddenly seen an increase in mentions, Re/Code reported.

For example, singer Justin Bieber is mentioned often on Facebook. So the total volume of mentions is always high and is not a good indicator of whether or not he is part of a trending topic.

So, Facebook would look for a hike in mentions relative to the normal prattle around Bieber.

“This means that things that trend are not just the most highly mentioned people or topics, they have to be tied to some kind of relevant event,” the report said.

Once a topic is identified as trending, it is approved by a human controller, who also writes a short description for the story.

These people don’t get to pick what Facebook adds to the trending section.

“That’s done automatically by the algorithm. They just get to pick the headline,” the report added.

(IANS)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)