Twitter says its trending topics feature will now have explanations indicating why specific topics are trending.
The move comes as people have begun calling for the feature to be entirely disabled prior to the 2020 election as a way to mitigate misinformation.
Instead of cutting trending topics, Twitter will now include clarifying tweets and descriptions.
“To be clear, we know there is more work to do to improve trends and the context updates we’re announcing today are just a small step in the right direction,” the announcement states. “There is more we can do to help people understand why something is trending and to provide transparency around how something trends. We need to make trends better and we will.”
The statement does not mention misinformation. However, it does address confusion around trending topics.
Twitter said the question “why is this trending?” was tweeted over half a million times in 2019.
Starting today, the trending topics will have a tweet pinned with them to offer context around the subject. The pinned tweet will be determined by a combination of algorithms and the company’s curation team, Twitter said.
The change will be visible on the Android and iOS Twitter apps immediately, with a version for Twitter.com coming “soon,” according to the company.
Additionally, Twitter said some trends will have “brief descriptions” added to them to “help add context” for why it is trending. The descriptions will be created by a curation team and can be found on the website and apps and will be available “in the coming weeks.”