back to article Facebook replaces human editors with McChicken romping, Fox News faking AI bots

On Friday, Facebook announced changes to its method of picking trending news stories to put on the front page of people's feeds. It's taking humans out of the equation and using algorithms instead – and the results were not pretty. Facebook's Trending news section is part of Mark Zuckerberg's plan to make the social network …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Other than getting rid of the human editors and saving money, who would ever think that AI was a good choice for this? Maybe for the initial weeding out process but certainly not for the "published" items.

    Then again.. FB and profit....

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      From what reports I heard the human editors were not much better than the AI.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      David Cameron:

      Wow, she's hot, I wouldn't mind a piece of that.

      I suppose those who never went to Eton would find the girl pretty, too.

  2. Baldy50

    'The hashtag was trending because an unnamed individual (who is in need of serious psychiatric help) filmed himself taking McDonald's slogan of "I'm lovin' it" a bit too seriously and apparently enjoyed an intimate and vigorous relationship with a fast-food sandwich (NSFW video here).'


    Thank you very much I'd have never come across this without your help and although found it very strange and amusing to a degree don't really need your help in finding things on the net that require any more mind bleach than I already need after a bit of surfing, but ta anyway just what I needed at 12.20, goodnight fellow sicko's!

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Computer says no

      > I'd have never come across this without your help

      I'm sure El Reg is honoured to have ensured this happy ending was not 'by accident'...

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Covers true or false. This one appears to be true. So you don't -need- Register for weirdness.

        But I'm not sure why everyone is getting excited about this, um, event.

        Still, if it's what people want, then should I prepare to film "Bucket for One"? Which is NOT something that I am going to do anyway.

  3. Oengus Silver badge

    What could possibly go wrong?

    A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time.

    Just look at how well that worked with Algorithmic trading...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Just look at how well that worked with Algorithmic trading...

      Depends what kind.

      If you mean the automated man-in-the-middle kind done by Hedge funds it works just fine.

      But that's as much like real trading as reality TV is like a documentary.

  4. Shades

    "The hashtag was trending because an unnamed individual (who is in need of serious psychiatric help)"

    Just because the guy likes a bit of jerk chicken (and thats a play on what he's doing, not because of his skin colour before anyone pipes up with the race card) it doesn't mean he's in need of "serious psychiatric help". Lets face it, people do much, much worse to get their rocks off and, as long as its not pre-sale, he's not harming anyone.

    Seems the Left-Pondians got themselves another Puritan some 400-odd years after all the others!

  5. JustWondering

    How about no?

    How about I don't want any Zucking help, whether AI or doofus generated? And how many times do I have to tell you I want to see most recent posts, not what you call "top stories".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Most Recent by Default

      Save the facebook bookmark / speedial as: to have posts come up by "Most Recent" as default.

      It doesn't get around the fact that it will still filter / alter your feed - but at least it'll be in the correct order.

  6. Number6

    Sounds like a new game to while away the colder months - try to game the Facebook AI and see how many outrageous and/or dodgy stories we can get it to select for posting.

    1. Ru'

      "... try to game the Facebook AI..."

      I would imagine 4chan (or whatever the kids use these days) is already all over this :)

  7. Big-nosed Pengie

    All I can say is thank the gods for Fluff Busting Purity.

    1. TheProf


      Indeed. I didn't even know FB did news stories.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Yet another great reason

    To avoid the great Zuckerberg Experiment.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I avoid it like the plague, but in all honesty it is rather useful in keeping all that stupidity in its own little pen.

      There was a time when it would be my mailbox getting spammed with chain letters, so-called inspiring nonsense, bullshit warnings, stupid permutations on urban myths and all that moronic shite, and I would have to wade through it all and delete, delete, delete. Now it's all on Facebook, which I can just never go to.

      So thanks for that, I guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The B Ark

  9. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "It's taking humans out of the equation and using algorithms instead .."

    Well, technically... assuming the algorithms were designed by humans...

    In other news: still waiting for the "I" in AI to happen.

  10. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Breaking news

    Shite website is full of shite!

  11. PeterO

    Who or What ?

    The AI isn't even capable of spotting the difference between a "topic" and a "person"...

    Joe Wicks

    1.5k people talking about this

    Not only do I not know what a "Joe Wicks" is, but this tells me nothing about what it has done, so zero chance of me clicking on the link.

  12. wolfetone Silver badge


    You seriously don't need or even want to watch that video.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: McChicken

      Too late...

    2. martin777

      Re: McChicken

      Want fries with that?

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Wants to be the worlds newspaper"

    Thanks but no thanks.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm so glad I don't have twitter and therefore cannot access said video.

    I'm guessing it can't be as bad as what the hamburglar did though as he is no longer about.

  15. Mage Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Facebook has a long way to go

    Can we trust Facebook at all ever?

    Isn't it the mental and privacy equivalent of a WMD?










    Weapon of Mass Distraction.

    Note to World Media and other Websites: Facebook is NOT a News Source. Stop doing articles based on so called Twitter & Facebook Content!

    At least this article is real news about Facebook!

  16. HarleyBird

    Facebook a publisher now?

    Surely if Facebook is currating / editorialising news they've just become a Publisher and should be regulated as such.

  17. Aseries

    Poles apart

    In the world of self-styled "conservatives" anything is too liberal if it is not liberal bashing.

  18. Florida1920 Silver badge

    I keep hearing about this "Facebook"

    On legitimate news sites. One of these days I may take a look at it.

  19. martin777


    Want fries with that?

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