Here’s What Happened When Facebook Tried To Get Computers To Do A Real Person’s Job

Spoiler: it didn't go well.

Here's What Happened When Facebook Tried To Get Computers To Do A Real Person's Job

by Jess Commons |
Published on

Good news kids. We're not going to be replaced by robots just yet.

Recently, Facebook had a big cull of it's employees that worked on it's Trending news section. According to a blog post they put out on the 26th, Trending stories would become 'automated' and 'will no longer require people to write descriptions for trending topics.'

They went on to say, 'There are still people involved in this process to ensure that the topics that appear in Trending remain high-quality — for example, confirming that a topic is tied to a current news event in the real world.'

Which is why a story that was big news on Facebook Trending on Sunday was kind of a problem; it wasn't real.

The story that was going round was about Megyn Kelly, a Fox news presenter (the one who took Donald Trump on) who had supposedly lost her job because she was backing Hillary Clinton.The article, which contained about 700 typos, said that Kelly was fired because she is 'a closet liberal who actually wants Hillary to win'.

Megyn Kelly, as far as anyone knows, still has a job and hasn't endorsed Hillary. Here's the story and the website that was trending BTW. It looks a bit mental doesn't it?

Anyways - as of today Facebook have apologised for the error. Justin Ofosky, VP of global Facebook operations told CBS that, 'This was a mistake for which we apologize, and it has been corrected.'

He went on to explain how the mistake happened, 'A topic is eligible for Trending if it meets the criteria for being a real-world news event and there are a sufficient number of relevant articles and posts about that topic.' He said. 'Over the weekend, this topic met those conditions and the Trending review team accepted it thinking it was a real-world topic. We then re-reviewed the topic based on the likelihood that there were inaccuracies in the articles. We determined it was a hoax​ and it is no longer being shown in Trending. We’re working to make our detection of hoax and satirical stories quicker and more accurate.'

Hm. Maybe keeping some real life humans around might be an idea?

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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