Facebook battles to banish News Feed clickbait

Tired of misleading headlines? Facebook's new clickbait filter aims to clear them up.

Another day, another change to Facebook’s News Feed.

The social network’s crusade against clickbait, the highly technical term for garbage articles with misleading headlines, continues apace with an algorithmic tweak that downgrades articles with headlines like, “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”

That means you’ll see fewer stories like that in your News Feed.

But hasn’t Facebok promised to banish clickbait before? Yes. In a 2014 News Feed update, Facebook used two signals to tell if a link was clickbait: how much time you spent on the story outside of Facebook, and whether you like or share the story.

Its algorithm is getting more sophisticated. The network will now identify clickbait by examining headlines and categorizing them similar to a spam filter. Facebook used actual humans to review headlines and come up with commonly used phrases across classic types of clickbait stories.

Facebook will also look at pages that consistently post those types of stories and will automatically downgrade their ranking in your News Feed. That will affect traffic to those sites, which may inspire them to stop clogging your feed with misleading news.

“We want publishers to post content that people care about, and we think people care about headlines that are much more straightforward,” Facebook product VP Adam Mosseri told the New York Times.

Why this matters: Facebook’s News Feed is a constantly evolving beast. The average Facebook user just wants to see updates from their friends, family, and the celebrities or business they follow. Over the years, publishers have invented new, creative, and often annoying ways to game Facebook’s massive distribution potential, and while Facebook hasn’t said which media companies are guiltier than others of this shameful behavior, you can bet that they’ll change their ways—or just find new, even more irritating ones.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Caitlin McGarry

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?