Facebook tweaks News Feed again to reduce ‘clickbait’

Think twice before clicking on a headline on Facebook’s News Feed.

The social media giant said Thursday that it plans to display news stories with misleading headlines lower in the site’s News Feed.

“We’ve heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles. These are headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer,” company employees wrote in a blog post.

Examples of clickbait headlines that Facebook cited included: “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS… I Was SHOCKED!”; “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe”; or “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”

The company has tried to crack down on click-baiting before by looking at how long a person spends on a story and how many people discuss and share it with friends afterward. It also started displaying posts with links included in status updates higher in the News Feed.

But the tech firm said that it wants to do more and has a system that’s similar to an email spam filter to identify phrases that are commonly used in these headlines.

“News Feed will continue to learn over time — if a Page stops posting clickbait headlines, their posts will stop being impacted by this change,” the company said.

In June, Facebook also said that posts from family and friends will be shown higher in the News Feed.

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

 

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