August 29, 2016

Facebook Replaces People With Robots, Immediately Fails

Look, every social media platform has a purpose. We go to Twitter to find trending stories. We go to Facebook to look at wedding photos of people we don’t recall meeting. We go to LinkedIn to shout our resumes at one another. Facebook’s attempt to be a trusted purveyor of breaking news hit a snafu over the weekend, after the social network promoted a fake news story about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. The story erroneously claimed Fox News had fired Kelly for “backing Hillary,” which Facebook then promoted to its “Trending Topics” section, a portal on the website’s front page that is visited by more than 1.7 billion people each month. Though Facebook has since apologized, it reignites the conversation on how Facebook handles content.

What’s the big deal?

Back in May, Facebook was accused of featuring stories based on employees’ own political beliefs. At the time, Facebook investigated the issue themselves and found no wrongdoing. But then last Friday, Facebook announced they were no longer writing their own descriptions of trending topics and would let computer algorithms do some of the heavy lifting. Looks like the robots are no better, either. 

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: