Facebook takes down article claiming '9/11' to be a conspiracy from Trending Topics

Facebook "Trending" topic algorithms pushed a conspiracy theory article claiming that "9/11" was a "controlled demolition."


Facebook has now taken down September 11 conspiracy story from automated Trending Topics. Machines and algorithms are not perfect and need constant human supervision to function correctly. This was proved correct once again when recently Facebook algorithms had pushed a conspiracy theory article claiming that "9/11" was a "controlled demolition."

The article entitled "September 11: The footage that 'proves bombs were planted in Twin Towers'," published by British tabloid 'The Daily Star' was promoted in the "Trending" topics section on the social media website as reported by Mashable. This is the second time when Facebook algorithms put in place to decide trending topics, has failed in as last few days.

Earlier, the algorithm promoted a Siri Joke posted by FakingNews as news for Apple iPhone 7 event. These blunders come in light after Facebook made changes to how the "Trending" topics are chosen to stop any bias from directing the selection of stories. Facebook had removed the article from "Trending Topics" and changed the trends to reflect a local article on 9/11 as reported by the Washington Post.

We've also seen another hoax story surface on Facebook's trending section after a fake article claimed Fox News host Megyn Kelly was fired. The company had pulled the shutter on human editor after facing flak towards its bias selection of stories. Looks like, everyone would now want the human editor back or the least we could ask is improved algorithms.

The move, away from human editors who pick the "Trending" topics for the website happened after a massive controversy around "Trending" topics were picked. According to an interview, the editors at Facebook had a strong bias against  politically conservative news as reported by Gizmodo. Facebook had to go in damage control mode with several meetings with conservative leaders and revamped structure on the selection of "Trending" stories.

This error is a far-cry from the recent report where Facebook censored the Vietnam-War era photograph of 'napalm girl' from the articles posted by a newspaper in Norway. The decision was reversed by the company after Norway PM joined the campaign by news publications in the country to call out Facebook on its blunder.