Quartz confirmed from multiple sources that Facebook has laid off the entire editorial staff on the Trending team—15-18 workers contracted through a third party. The Trending team will now be staffed entirely by engineers, who will work to check that topics and articles surfaced by the algorithms are newsworthy.
Facebook maintains that trending items have always been selected by algorithms; the former editorial staff was only responsible for writing the story descriptions seen in the Trending section, according to the company. This was disputed by former contractors hired by the tech giant who told Gizmodo in May that they were instructed to manually add some stories by hand. Stories on conservative topics were routinely excluded from the Trending list even though they were popular among Facebook users, Gizmodo reported. (Source)