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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?