Facebook’s Trending news section highlighted a news story about Fox News firing Megyn Kelly for being “a closet liberal who actually wants Hillary to win.”
Megyn Kelly has not actually been fired by Fox News. The story was a fake, but Facebook still promoted it anyway.
The story was shared by “End The Fed,” a conservative news aggregator with over 200,000 likes on Facebook.
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) August 29, 2016
This has finally been removed. But Facebook should answer for this. Completely fake “news” should not be “trending” https://t.co/RbE0AFl1Ua
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 29, 2016
A Facebook spokesperson said that the story initially met the company’s conditions for the Trending section based on how many people were sharing it on Facebook. The story was pulled after Facebook became aware that it was factually inaccurate Monday morning.
“We’re working to make our detection of hoax and satirical stories more accurate,” the spokesperson said.
This isn’t the first time Facebook’s Trending section has received negative attention.
A Gizmodo report in May said that Facebook contractors had suppressed conservative news from surfacing in Trending. The company responded by saying that it found no evidence of political bias. An internal investigation in response to Gizmodo’s story led to an overhaul of Facebook’s Trending guidelines and the addition of political bias training for Facebook employees.
On Friday, Facebook reportedly fired its Trending editorial staff and announced that humans would no longer write descriptions for stories in Trending. The company said that people would still be responsible for selecting which stories are actual news events and not simply reoccurring discussions or fake stories.