Facebook’s Trending Topics puts hoax story about 9/11 at top

Facebook fails again with its Trending Topics by putting a hoax 9/11 story on top

By: Tech Desk | Updated: September 10, 2016 3:34 pm
Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Trending Topics, Facebook Trending Topics 9/11 hoax, Facebook Trending algorithm, Facebook Trending topics algorithm fail, social, tech news, technology Facebook has tweaked its Trending Topics algorithm to make it more automated with no descriptions from editors

Social media giant Facebooks news trending algorithm put a hoax story about 9/11 at top of its list, linking to an article by The Daily Star which claimed that controlled explosions destroyed the World Trade Centre Towers in 2001, a media report said.

“We’re aware a hoax article showed up there and as a temporary step to resolving this we’ve removed the topic,” tech website CNET quoted a Facebook spokesman as saying on Friday.

Facebook currently has more than a billion monthly active users, and its Trending Topics is prominent section for views, whether stories are true or not.

The 9/11 attack, like other trending topics, had landed on the list organically, from people anticipating the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack, but the link associated with the topic had been plagued by the hoax article, the report noted.

The articles on the Trending Topics section are placed through an algorithm based on relevancy and time posted. Facebook shows popular topics being discussed at any given moment under its trending section. Facebook’s trending section was being criticised for conservative approach to political news stories and some of the curators criticised the social network giant for being unfair with the work ethics.

Facebook recently made Trending Topics more automated by dropping description from the topic. Earlier, descriptions for trending topics were curated by human editors and Facebook was constantly criticised for its mechanism. The social media giant has started deploying computer algorithm for its trending section now. It replaces the links after an undetermined amount of time, without any human supervision or quality control, the report added.

(Written with inputs from IANS)