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This is how something starts trending on Facebook

This is how something starts trending on Facebook

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Facebook wants to own the internet. It wants to be the first and last place you go when logging onto your computer, and it’s doing that by becoming far more than just a social network. The company is best known for its News Feed where you primarily see updates from your friends and the pages you follow. But there’s also Facebook’s "trending" section, which is all about what’s hot. It’s almost as if it was created by a middle-aged father whose prime was in the ’70s and can’t bear to think he’s lost his cool. And now he knows what the kids in high school are talking about.

The trending section displays 10 of the most popular stories on Facebook related to trends, politics, science and technology, sports, and entertainment. The biggest fault with this section, however, is that whatever’s been lucky enough to make it to the top doesn’t necessarily deserve to be there. For example, this is currently the number one trending article on my News Feed: "Kim Kardashian: TV Personality Photographed With Blond Hair at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 Show." Why’s it there? Just because enough people are liking, commenting, sharing and viewing the article, either with genuine care or out of curiosity/dismay.

For a more detailed look into how Facebook decides what’s trending, Recode’s Kurt Wagner wrote a great article on the matter back in August.