At Facebook, the algorithm doesn’t always know best. In late August, the social network put an algorithm in charge of its “trending” feature, selecting the most popular topics, articles and keywords. The change came after allegations in the spring that the contract workers who curated the news headline feature altered which articles appeared for political reasons.
Yet in recent days, as The Wall Street Journal reports, the “trending” lists have appeared more flawed than when humans were in charge. There have been false stories, misidentified keywords, and celebrity gossip in the place of more serious news.