Facebook Promoting Fake News After Firing Human Editors
Ashley Allen / 7 years ago
A report from The Washington Post’s The Intersect claims that since Facebook revamped its news trending system – i.e. fired its human editors and tasked its own algorithms with monitoring popular topics – the social media site has been consistently promoting fake news stories. The Intersect conducted an audit of Facebook’s new system and found that news stories that were either made-up, highly inaccurate, or not news at all (such as links to iTunes) were regularly appearing as trending topics.
“I’m not at all surprised how many fake stories have trended,” a former Facebook Trending team member of the team told The Washington Post. “It was beyond predictable by anyone who spent time with the actual functionality of the product, not just the code.”
Examples of stories that trended on Facebook during September recorded by The Washington Post include a debunked report of a Clemson University administrator who kicked a praying man off campus, a resourced iPhone satire posing as a real article, and a parody NFL story written by SportsPickle.
“I’d like to say I expect more from Facebook in advocating truth and informing the citizenry,” DJ Gallo, founder and editor of SportsPickle, said. “But I think we’ve seen with this election that much of what is posted on Facebook — and all social media — is not accurate.”
Facebook has declined to comment on the report by The Washington Post.