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Twitter Exec Adam Bain Takes Aim at Facebook's "Code for Twitter" in Trending News

If you were keeping a close eye on Twitter at the end of January, you may well have seen all, or part, of COO Adam Bain's crusade against Facebook's trending news section. Over the course of about a week, Bain lambasted the rival social network after becoming infuriated with seeing nearly all mention of Twitter seemingly changed to refer simply to 'Social Media'.

Looking back through various screenshots, its easy to see how Bain got that impression. To be honest I cant really think of the last time I saw the Twitter brand specifically mentioned by Facebook, but you see countless references to social media every day.

A few recent viral stories and disputes were singled out by Bain as prime examples of Facebook's questionable practice, including the 'Kanye Vs Wiz Khalifa' beef, which occurred entirely on Twitter. Also mentioned were the online spats between fast food companies Wendy's and Burger King, and the debate, for lack of a better term, between rapper B.o.B and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

While it is true that Facebook sometimes refers to its own sites as 'social media' as well, the term is much more commonly seen on the platform when the pertinent story centers around Twitter. A Facebook representative, when questioned about the allegations by Buzzfeed, attempted to defend Facebook's system with the following statement:

“Trending topic descriptions and summaries are written with the goal of making sure that the topic is clear and well-summarized, so that people get an accurate summary of the news event quickly.”

Unhappy with a response that he felt skirted around the issue somewhat and offered no real answers, Bain tweeted his own response on the 29th.

Following Bain's tweet, Facebook sent another statement to BuzzFeed:

“Trending topics are surfaced by an algorithm that identifies topics that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. There is nothing in our trending algorithm or policies that excludes ‘Twitter’ or related terms. Our review team writes the topic descriptions and sometimes we get things wrong. For example, the Kanye/Wiz beef clearly unfolded on Twitter alone. We are always working to improve trending topics on Facebook.”

This seems to have been enough to appease Bain, at least for the time being, as he has not tweeted about his claims since the final statement was made. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see just how often Twitter's name pops up on Facebook. I had a look this morning, and there's no mention at all, but then social media doesn't feature either.

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Twitter Exec Adam Bain Takes Aim at Facebook's "Code for Twitter" in Trending News Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, February 03, 2016 Rating: 5

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