Facebook is now the place where many people are getting their news. That's why this story is especially frightening.
The "Trending" list next to your news feed is an easy way to see the current events everyone is talking about. To join the conversation, you just click the topic you want to know more about and you get a list of different articles that you can share to your own wall.
Isn't it embarrassing when you find a juicy story and you find out it's not true after you've posted it? Facebook's algorithms recently made that mistake and many people had no idea the story was fake.
The bogus story about was about popular Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
It said that she had been fired from the Fox News Channel because she is secretly a liberal and a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Here's what the story looked like on a typical Facebook feed.
— Justin Green (@JGreenDC) August 29, 2016
When the Megyn Kelly story started getting traction on Facebook, it was listed on the "Trending" list for all on Facebook to see. Only later after millions read the story and shared it, Facebook learned the story contained several factual errors.
Are computers to blame?
In the past, Facebook editors approved and wrote descriptions of trending topics that appear at the beginning of the list of articles. A few days ago, Facebook turned this task over to computers.
Be careful using the Facebook Trending news. I suspect we'll see more stories like this before the algorithms can be trusted.