Saturday August 27, 2016

Facebook Fires Entire Trending Stories Editorial Staff

I was wondering why Facebook was no longer showing those small story snippets. The company is now using an algorithm to select trending topics and articles, so they can now blame a program instead of people when something goes wrong.

Quartz confirmed from multiple sources that Facebook has laid off the entire editorial staff on the Trending teamآ—15-18 workers contracted through a third party. The Trending team will now be staffed entirely by engineers, who will work to check that topics and articles surfaced by the algorithms are newsworthy. Facebook maintains that trending items have always been selected by algorithms; the former editorial staff was only responsible for writing the story descriptions seen in the Trending section, according to the company. This was disputed by former contractors hired by the tech giant who told Gizmodo in May that they were instructed to manually add some stories by hand.