Jun 1, 2018

Facebook is ditching the "Trending" news section

Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is doing away with the controversial "Trending" news section next week, the company announced on Friday.

Why it matters: The section, which it introduced in 2014, was meant to help users get an easy view of the top news during the day, but Facebook says that it ultimately drove less than 1.5% of clicks to publishers on average. The feature has also come under fire more than once — most heavily in 2016, when Gizmodo reported on the human curators' practices and raised charges that the social network suppressed conservative news.

Why now: There are two motivations for Facebook. One, it has said it is looking to decrease news overall in favor of posts from friends. Second, by removing trending it won’t be criticized for promoting fake news or bad sources.

Between the lines: Facebook, like other giant tech companies, has always maintained that it's not a media company and doesn't want to make news judgments, but instead should serve as a platform for news organizations to reach the public — and for users to make choices among those publishers. The company says it is planning to give publishers new tools to flag breaking stories and feature local news content.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

7 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.