Facebook’s Trending News section promoted a fake story about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly Sunday, claiming the network fired Kelly for being a “closet liberal who actually wants Hillary to win.”
Facebook Trends linked users to an article from “endingthefed.com” which claims Fox is ousting Kelly for her lack of solidarity behind Republican nominee Donald Trump, and that Bill O’Rielly is the driving force behind her ousting.
The story was fake, and before Facebook took it down from its Trending News Monday morning, it was shared thousands of times.
Kelly has not been fired by Fox News, but Facebook promoted the story for over 14 hours under its Trending News section. This latest gaffe comes on the heels of Facebook announcing major changes to the Trending News section.
The social media giant announced Friday it laid off its entire editorial staff — the new Facebook Trending News is staffed exclusively by engineers.
The company said it added a more automated design that removed human-written descriptions of the trending stories and instead just highlights a word or phrase of the trending news.
Facebook users noticed that the fake article was trending and tweeted their concerns:
Megyn Kelly is trending on Facebook for an article that has no basis in reality. pic.twitter.com/31f4ERnzHI
— Kyle Blaine (@kyletblaine) August 29, 2016
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) August 29, 2016
CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter tweeted out that Facebook should answer for the incident:
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
Facebook’s Trending News section has been under a lot of scrutiny since early May. A former Facebook employee informed the tech news site Gizmodo the company was biased against conservative groups, and said that Facebook “routinely suppresses conservative news.”
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