Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy


The Guardian:

Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy

Just months after the discovery that Facebook’s “trending” news module was curated and tweaked by human beings, the company has eliminated its editors and left the algorithm to do its job. The results, so far, are a disaster. Facebook announced late Friday that it had eliminated jobs in its trending module, the part of its news division where staff curated popular news for Facebook users. Over the weekend, the fully automated Facebook trending module pushed out a false story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly, a controversial piece about a comedian’s four-letter word attack on rightwing pundit Ann Coulter, and links to an article about a video of a man masturbating with a McDonald’s chicken sandwich.
In a blogpost, Facebook said the decision to drop people from the news module would allow it to operate at a greater scale.

“Our goal is to enable Trending for as many people as possible, which would be hard to do if we relied solely on summarizing topics by hand,” wrote a company representative in the unattributed post. “A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time.”

A source familiar with the matter told the Guardian that the trending team was fired without notice in a meeting with a security guard present. The ex-employees received four weeks’ severance.
In May, the Guardian published the guidelines used by Facebook’s Trending module team after Gizmodo revealed that the module was in fact curated by humans. The revelation fuelled accusations of potential bias at the social network, which has become the world’s largest distributor of news.

Proving once again that algorithms are stupid.


And/or that Facebook is stupid. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’d place my bet on both, lol :slight_smile:


Good. Maybe FB will finally die.


The earlier listing actually had news articles. Now it looks like it’s all entertainment. If that’s what people want, I guess it’s working. But I’m not going to be looking at those things.


Alas… facebook cannot die, rather it will descend into a silicon pit of digital darkness… where there is a gnashing of keyboards and where it will be forced to play mind numbing games like candy crunch, and castle whatchamacallit for all eternity.:blush:


Hasn’t it already done that? Oh wait… you left out the eternal parade of selfies so maybe you were only talking about the first ring of the modern day digital inferno. :smiley:


Poor chicken sandwich.


And people still believe in artificial intelligence



:stuck_out_tongue: the sooner the better!


Dumb decision. I enjoyed that feature, Especially the [appears to] phrase.

FB is now only a place where I can connect easily with family [period],


Amen to that. My brother and I discovered a lot of Polish cousins who are overseas.


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