Facebook have repeatedly trended fake news stories following their decision to make the trending news section entirely automated, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The Washington Post’s “The Intersect” section tracked and logged every false news story that trended on Facebook since the social network fired its politically biased news curators in August, and discovered five stories that were “indisputably fake,” as well as three that were “profoundly inaccurate.”
“On top of that, we found that news releases, blog posts from sites such as Medium and links to online stores such as iTunes regularly trended,” claims Caitlin Dewey for the Washington Post.
The false stories reportedly included one which described the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a “controlled demolition,” a satirical story about the unannounced iPhone 8 published by “Faking News,” and a satirical sports story from the comedy site SportsPickle.
“I’m not at all surprised how many fake stories have trended,” said one former Facebook trending news curator to the Washington Post. “It was beyond predictable by anyone who spent time with the actual functionality of the product, not just the code.”
“I’d like to say I expect more from Facebook in advocating truth and informing the citizenry,” proclaimed the editor of satirical sports site, SportsPickle. “But I think we’ve seen with this election that much of what is posted on Facebook — and all social media — is not accurate.”
Facebook fired its trending news team in August, after Breitbart News unveiled the biases of the social network’s curators that lead to non-liberal outlets being blacklisted from the section, whilst stories that did not fit a progressive narrative were hidden altogether.
In an interview with a former curator, it was revealed that the trending news curators, who were often hired from publications such as the Guardian, MSNBC, and New York Daily News, would “regularly avoid sites like World Star Hip Hop, The Blaze, and Breitbart” while sticking to a list of “preferred media outlets” which included The New York Times, Time, and Variety.