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Facebook bans 9/11 conspiracy theories from trending topics

Published: September 16, 2016
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Source: The Hill

Facebook says it is working to fight the spread of fake news on its platform after a story pushing a conspiracy theory about the 9/11 attacks and another that said Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was backing Hillary Clinton appeared among its “trending topics.”

Facebook says it is working to fight the spread of fake news on its platform after false stories claiming the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy and that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was backing Hillary Clinton appeared among its “trending topics.”

The trending section is supposed to include news stories that are popular among users, but the algorithms used to determine their selection have backfired on the company.

“We’ve actually spent a lot of time on News Feed trying to reduce [fake news and hoaxes’] prevalence in the ecosystem,” Adam Mosseri, who leads work on Facebook’s News Feed, said Wednesday at a tech conference. “I think we’re doing now some more similar work on trending to improve the experience in a similar way.”

[…]

In two well-publicized incidents, the trending topics feature surfaced a story that said that Fox News’ Kelly had been fired for supporting Clinton and a second one promoting a conspiracy theory about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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