Facebook Employees Curate 'Featured Events'


Facebook this week launched employee-curated "featured events" lists for users in 10 US cities.

As first reported by TechCrunch, Folks in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., can now discover local happenings as chosen by real people.

The social network already suggests events popular in your network, related to your history and location. But those are collected by a computer algorithm and based on your preferences and activity. New "featured" events, meanwhile, are hand-picked by a team of humans.

"Featured events are selected by a team at Facebook to show people fun local things happening in specific cities," Facebook said.

"To determine which events are included on a list, the team regularly reviews local art, entertainment, family, festival, fitness, food and drink, learning, community, music, and sports events," Facebook continued. "The team also considers factors including location and capacity."

Featured events for New York City included three categories: Fourth of July (Staten Island Philharmonic Concert & Fireworks), Beats and Eats (Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields), and the Weekly 5 (Everday People at Brookyn's SummerStage). There's also the option to check out events today or coming up this week.

Don't expect to find invites to church services or political rallies, though: Featured events focus primarily on entertainment, and will not include events addressing politics or worship.

Only public events hosted by a Page may appear on the lists. Facebook does not take submissions for review, though it encourages folks to share and promote their gatherings online.

The site also promised to remain unbiased in its curation: Whether or not the event host has bought ads on the site before has no impact on the team's decision.

Facebook recently faced allegations of giving preferential treatment to politically liberal news stories when former staffers suggested the site "routinely" censors right-wing content in the Trending section. Facebook denied any wrongdoing, but pledged to revamp its Trending topics selection process.

Facebook last week just announced that it will require employees to undergo training to check their political biases.

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