Days after Facebook removed the human editors who somehow controlled what appeared on the trending topics section. The company was caught unawares when it trended a fake news story about the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Facebook replaced the human editors with the new purely algorithm system to avoid the recent accusations of removing trending topics that are allied to conservatism views.
The recent mistake, however, was an avoidable one. The trending topic about Megyn Kelly claimed that she joined Fox News commonly known to be conservative-leaning, as a secret Hilary Clinton supporter. The story was not making sense at all. However, since there was no human to catch the mistake in the Algorithm, the story trended to the top of Facebook’s Trending list even beating popular trending topics like the Beyoncé’s VMA performance and a sexting scandal by Anthony Weiner. The trending story was later removed at around 9:30 ET the following morning.
The point is that Facebook’s strategy of trending the fake story was absurd in the first place and only served to give credibility to the hoax. According to sources familiar with the situation, Facebook’s trending topics algorithm relies on many articles, topics and posts, which is the reason it was easy to come up with a viral headline. At the point when the story was promoted, it met the conditions for acceptance according to the Facebooks guidelines about trending topics. Facebook now claims that the story was later deemed inaccurate hence the reason it was removed from the trending list.
However, Facebook declined to comment on the matter amid outcry from the conservatives. Recently, Gizmodo reported that Facebook was purposely suppressing stories related to conservatism and allowing stories for the liberalism to trend. Although early conclusions may have been made about Facebook’s behavior, the company has refused to produce evidence to prove otherwise.
The recent incident involving the new algorithm system wasn’t the first incident. Over the weekend, other inappropriate headlines trended including a man masturbating with a McDonald’s sandwich. The recent decision to eliminate the human editors was according to Facebook meant to encourage broader audience.