Sans human, Facebook’s Trending Topics algorithm faired poorly

Posted to Mistaken Data  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Last week, Facebook announced that it was making the Trending Topics section more automated. More algorithm-based. Less person-based. On Monday, the section showed a fake news story at the top of the list for several hours.

Nick Statt for the Verge on the human element:

The changes instituted on Friday didn’t throw all of that away; Facebook has been slowly stripping away the human element of Trending Topics for months now. Rather, it marked the moment Facebook decided its algorithmic approach was more favorable, or perhaps more cost-effective and less damaging. But in shifting the reins to engineers, the company has minimized the kind of news judgment typically exercised by journalists and editors. Now, just a few days later, we’re realizing just how important that human element was.

Data. Always open for interpretation.

Favorites

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Famous Movie Quotes as Charts

In celebration of their 100-year anniversary, the American Film Institute selected the 100 most memorable quotes from American cinema, and …