Facebook Removes Human Curators From Trending Module

Today, Facebook announced that human curators will no longer write short descriptions that accompany trending topics on the site. Instead, the company will rely on an algorithmic process to “pull excerpts directly from stories.” The company also said it will stop using human curators to sort through the news…. It’s important to note that Facebook originally claimed its Trending Topics section was sorted by an algorithm. The company seems to have…


Truth Trumps Bias

Trump offers plenty of opportunities for his detractors to criticize him. In the case of BabyGate, it does appear that the media were quick to spread an unflattering story without confirming some key facts. From a reporter seated one row behind the crying baby: “Mom and baby, very much not kicked out, came back to their seat a bit later. The baby was sucking a pacifier, silent.” There’s a little more to the story than the transcript and video suggest.

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‘Our worst nightmare’: New legal filings detail reporting of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape story

The court documents, submitted as evidence in associate dean Nicole Eramo’s $10 million defamation lawsuit against the magazine, show how journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely deferred to a U-Va. junior named “Jackie” instead of digging deeper to verify the student’s claims. Source: ‘Our worst nightmare’: New legal filings detail reporting of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape story   Saving this for the next time I teach journalism.


Facebook’s News Feed: Often Changed, Never Great

I’ve never liked Instant Articles — Facebook’s Newspeak term for “We want to make it harder for users to leave Facebook even when they’ve chosen to follow a link to an article on a news source.” In The New Yorker, Om Malik writes about Facebook’s evolving interface. There are days when I look at my news feed and it seems like a social fabric of fun—a video of the first…

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Gawker Media Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

This is fallout from losing an invasion of privacy lawsuit, filed in the name of wrestler Hulk Hogan and backed by tech investor Peter Thiel (co-founder of Paypal and an early investor and current board member for Facebook, and in his younger days also co-founder of the Stanford Review). Gawker slogan: “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.” That’s from the <title> tag on the website — I’m not making some kind of…


Katie Couric Gun Documentary Undermined By Manipulative Editing : NPR

Interviewer Katie Couric asks a group of gun owners the question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” The gun owners respond right away, according to audio recorded by one of the participants. But in the documentary Under the Gun, footage taken from elsewhere in the interview shows members of a gun advocacy group looking down, not answering, for…