Facebook’s new trending topics backfires

Facebook's new trending topics backfires

Facebook has had some controversy when it came to its trending news topics. At one point they were criticized for allegedly suppressing news from conservative news sites. They’ve also recently said that they would be cracking down on clickbait articles that continue to pollute people’s newsfeeds. That’s not to mention the amount of fake news that gets posted to Facebook everyday that sends droves of us to Snopes.com. So this past Friday, Facebook fired its human curation staff and replaced them with what was supposed to be an impartial algorithm. So what did the algorithm do? It made a fake clickbait story a top trending story.

The story in question claimed that Fox News personality Megyn Kelly was being fired from the conservative news outlet for backing Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The problem, besides the story being absolutely not true, was that the website featured for the story was a blog, that quoted another blog, that quoted another website, that took a quote from a Vanity Fair article out of context in one of the more weird instances of the telephone game.

In the grand scheme of things this will have little to no effect on Facebook in general. Facebook is one of those companies that neither do no right nor do no wrong because they have no competition. Where else are you going to go to know what your friends and family are up to? Until someone comes up with a better product than Facebook, with its over 1 billion users they can make all the wacky experiments they want on their website and we’re all just tiny little specimens in their petri dish unable to do anything about the mad scientists who are poking and prodding them.