Facebook’s new automated trending news section accidentally featured a 9/11 conspiracy story claiming to prove that “bombs were planted” in the World Trade Center before being pulled from the social network.
Though the story has since been removed from Facebook’s trending news section, numerous people were able to spot the headline claiming that 9/11 was an inside job.
— Jessica Contrera (@mjcontrera) September 9, 2016
“We’re aware a hoax article showed up there,” said a spokesperson for Facebook on Friday. “And as a temporary step to resolving this we’ve removed the topic.”
In August, Facebook replaced their entire trending news team with an automated system, after Breitbart covered and exposed the biases against conservatives of several team members.
“Ninety percent of the team identified as liberal, including the copy editors, who essentially had the final approval on topics,” claimed a former Facebook employee in August. “If a source came up that may have been less credible to a liberal reviewer — like Breitbart or another publication like that — it would require more extensive secondary sourcing… However, if there was an article that came from a more liberal-slanted publication, it was essentially given less critique and was a more viable topic from the get-go.”
Since transitioning from a fully-human team to Facebook’s automated system, it has been reported that human editors are still involved in the process, however on a much smaller scale than they were before.
Various other false or explicit stories have also made their way through Facebook’s filters since dropping their human editorial team, including a false story about Megyn Kelly being fired from Fox News and a video of a man having sex with a McChicken sandwich.