Facebook seems not to be taking it lightly with fake stories making its way as number one in the Trending Topics even after it sacked it editorial team that were in charge of that section. The company have been putting measures in place by developing technologies to make sure that such does not happen again.
The company was put under heat in the early part of the year and were accused of not allowing conservative news to appear in the section of Trending Topics. Although findings showed that this it was not as a result of institutional bias, but was because of individual judgement, Facebook had to take the big hammer on the team that led that section.
The company said they took the step to show that they were not partisan to what they were accused of doing. Now with the job left for algorithms, the proliferation of fake and false stories into the Trending Topic became much worse. However, Facebook’s rep, Mosseri said this was not really as a result of the human non involvement but something that could have come up even before the company made the change.
The company said that it believes that the product will be better channeled to its international users with the absence of human editors. Mosseri noted that one of the issues experienced in the earlier version with the Trending Topics is that the stories were only explained in English.
The company said they were more interested in scaling internationally since it is dependent on the topic under discussion and the number of people talking about it. This means that the system to depend on the usage all over the world and not necessarily with products that are in different countries which is more cumbersome to handle.
Admittedly, there are plenty of works to be done on Trending, but Facebook said it believes more in iteration. With the failure of Trending Topics and the resulting appearance of fake stories such as the 9/11 “truther” story, the company said it will make use of technologies that it is employing in its News Feed. In News Feed, fake, hoax and clickbait stories are suppressed maximally.
Mosseri admitted that the company has put in so much on News Feed so as to prevent the prevalence of hoax and fake stories which they are now going to employ in Trending Topics, adding that there were still more work to be done for Trending Topics as well as the News Feed.