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The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud

Facebook Changes it’s Controversial trending Topic Feature

Facebook Inc changed its popular “Trending” feature, which shows users the most-talked about topics of the day, to make it more automated and further eliminate the potential for human bias, the company wrote in a blog post on Friday.

The update is Facebook’s latest attempt in recent months to stress its neutrality as its influence grows.

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Facebook maintains it is a neutral platform, but its political influence has come under scrutiny, especially as its user base swells. It has 1.7 billion people on its social network, and studies have shown it has the power to influence people’s behaviour, ranging from registering as organ donors to registering to vote.

After the May news report first surfaced, Facebook penned a lengthy blog post explaining how the Trending feature works, the first time it had done so. Less than two weeks later, the company said it changed some procedures and outlined those changes in an effort to be more transparent.

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