Inexperienced team behind Facebook's Trending Topics controversy?

By GizBot Bureau

An inexperienced and unorganised team may have been controlling the now-controversial Trending Topics feature of Facebook, according to media reports.

Inexperienced team behind Facebook's Trending Topics controversy?


The social networking giant has faced allegations of "intentionally suppressing conservative news" from appearing on Trending Topics -- a relatively new section of the site that shows the most popular news stories, technology website reported on Saturday.

SEE ALSO: Here are 5 ways drones could change the Indian economy

"The Trending Topics team was a fledgling enterprise made up of a small, ill-managed group of recent college graduates with little to no work experience, charged with combing through mountains of materials unearthed by algorithms," The New York Times reported after conducting interviews with current and former Facebook employees.

The human component was needed, according to former employees cited by the Times, because roughly 40 percent of terms unearthed by algorithms were described as "junk", just common phrases users happened to use around the same time across the platform.

The influential newspaper said the Trending List on the social network was skewed by individual judgment and not institutional bias.

SEE ALSO: Asus Zenfone Max Launched at Rs 9,999: These 5 Rivals Will Face The Heat

Facebook employees in charge of the feature "were not directed to squelch conservative news on the site, nor would that be easily accomplished by a staff member who wished to do so", the report said.

Inexperienced team behind Facebook's Trending Topics controversy?


While the subsequent inspection of the Facebook machine indicated intentional company-wide bias was near impossible, "unconscious bias" may be in play, as well as the ever-updating editorial guidelines, a 28-page document that made it hard for curators to keep up.

"We've reflected a lot", said Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president for global operations and media partnerships, which includes Trending Topics.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Why Asus Zenfone Max could give Redmi Note 3, Moto G4 a Run For Their Money

He added that Facebook had "identified ways in which we should have improved". Trending Topics was introduced in a handful of countries in January 2014 with a small staff based in New York.

It was Facebook's first major attempt to comb through the avalanche of information being posted on the social network and to make it easier for people to find current events.

Source IANS

Most Read Articles
Best Mobiles in India

Best Phones

Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Yes No
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Gizbot sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Gizbot website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more