Facebook algorithm posted fake 9 11, September 11 attack stories

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Saturday, 10/09/2016 01:09

Once again, Facebook algorithm got hoodwinked. On last Friday, Facebook's algorithm selected trending stories and placed "9/11" at the top of trending stories list. This trending topic was linked to a hoax history story by The Daily Star. This article claimed that the World Trade Center Twins Towers was destroyed by bombs planted within, not by a terrorist attack.

Hoax story about 9 11 attack, September 11 2001 attack on Facebook trending

It's the second time in two weeks Facebook's algorithm posted a fake news story on the top of its Trending Topics. On August 27, it posted a hoax story about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, just a day after the social network switched from its human curation team. The hoax post was promptly removed once Facebook was alerted to the post.

The top link for Facebook's 1.7 billion users was a hoax, claiming that the World Trade Center was destroyed by bombs. A Facebook spokesperson told the Washington Post that it was aware of the hoax story, with the headline "September 11: The Footage that 'proves bombs were planted in Twin Towers.'"

9 11 attack hoax stories on Facebook trending stories

 Hoax story about 9 11 attack, World Trade Center attack on Facebook trending stories

"We're aware a hoax article showed up there," the spokesperson said in a statement, "and as a temporary step to resolving this we've removed the topic."

When Facebook added the September 11 topic back to the trending section, the lead article switched to a piece about a photograph showing beams of light bouncing off One World Trade Center, according to the Post. You can check out 9 11 facts for real September 11 2001 stories.

The September 11 hoax is the second widely-circulated fake story to surface following Facebook's decision last month to eliminate the editors who curated its trending news section, instead relying on algorithms to help users discover worldwide breaking news. One of the advantages of relying on algorithms over human editors, the company says, is that it can enable the trending topics feature for users worldwide instead of limiting it to just countries like the US.

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Ryan Carter

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