Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Facebook Businesses News

Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines 61

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook today announced further plans to clean up the News Feed by reducing stories with click-bait headlines as well as stories that have links shared in the captions of photos or within status updates. The move comes just four months after the social network reduced Like-baiting posts, repeated content, and spammy links."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

Comments Filter:
  • Title speaks for itself ;-)

    • Oh, it gets even better - wait until politispam pages all over the site go apeshit and claim outright censorship...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Did you notice the "use our API for links" bit at the end? Let's be honest here clickbait is far more nuanced than any algorithm could predict. FB is likely doing this for 2 reasons, neither of which actually give users better content (and would you really want FB to decide that for you anyways?)

      1) They want to appear to be on the user's side

      2) They want to force everyone to use their API link format - so they can better track links and clicks.

      I'm sure this will remove the lowest of the low-hanging-fruit,

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        You missed "censor content they don't like" and "ship that same content to the appropriate government spooks".

        Facebook is trying to appear as relevant as they were 5 years ago. Every TV "News" agency is still saying "like us" and given the games we know they are playing it's getting more and more contrived.

    • At first I was laughing, but the end of this video just blew my mind !

      Now cue-in hordes of facebook users who will inevitably start to complain that facebook changed again their interface, and now it sucks, and that's it, they are going to deleter their account. Definitely. I swear it.
      Like at each of the other 5 big changes over the last year.

    • by Half-pint HAL ( 718102 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:26PM (#47752563)
      I just hope they use image recognition to eliminate my latest pet hate: the click-bait pages that use a screen grab of a youtube video, play button and all, as their thumbnail, trying to convince you it's just a shared video rather than a link.
  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @05:09PM (#47751599) Journal

    I can see the headline now:
    Facebook decides to change policy and you wouldn't believe what happened next!

  • Fuck Buzzfeed with a rusty buzzsaw.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I tried to submit a request here on Slashdot on information about an App that does this. (Got only one comment). While I don't particularly like Facebook, this is great news.

    Answer: The answer to all questions posted in a headline, is of course "NO!"

  • If you don't already know, the real value of facebook is the content that people post and the data mining that takes place behind the scenes. These social networks are a huge "SELL TO ME" sign that glows brighter with every like, repost, and share. I'm not surprised that the $$$ machine want's to control the content, they don't need us urinating in the same well we drink from.
    • I must be doing facebook all wrong. I don't ever recall seeing ads. If I could get my sister in law to stop posting "It's not the breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away" type crap twice a day it wouldn't be too bad.
      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        I run ad-block and noscript, I don't see any ads for any site unless I approve the content. Being a smart consumer is good for your health...

        That said, I don't visit facebook. Even back when it was the fad to have an account I never saw it as a "news" site, I saw it as entertainment (time burner). Memes are cute, but not news. I used to be able to hold a conversation with friends, but the improperly named "time line" broke that ability because anything that gets a "like" gets to the top of the stack so

        • by Skater ( 41976 )
          It has only gotten worse. I'm planning to close my account soon. The final straw for me was a group that a friend runs is now invisible to several of us in the group - there's nothing on his end that would seem to be causing it, and I (and several others) didn't block it, but...at least three of us can't see the group (there are probably more, but you don't notice it's missing until you go look for it, and of course any post from the group doesn't show up on our walls). Even when he sends us a direct URL
  • After reading a shameful article praising clickbait [theguardian.com] I realize the term isn't negative enough. "Bait" can be good or bad. Instead, please call them "misleading headlines" or "incomplete headlines" or "editorializing headlines."

    • ...or Native Advertising
    • That's not a catchy enough title unfortunately

    • by jfengel ( 409917 )

      It's not even really about the headlines, per se. What they're looking for is content that users click through to, but don't read. The clickbait headline was part of that, setting up the expectation that the user would want to at least a little time reading it (and then failing to), but it sounds as if they're trying to eliminate bad content via the measure of whether or not people spend any time reading it.

    • You're wrong. Here's why. "Bait" as you use it can be good, and for a number of reasons listed in the article you mention.

      Clickbait specifically applies to things like advertising and titles on news aggregators. It can also reference baity headlines on the same site,

      Here's what I found when I went to MSNBC because my go to news site had few details on today's active shooter incident.

      1Thousands pay tribute to 'gentle giant'
      2Scott Walker's big blund

    • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:22AM (#47754053)

      Clickbait in print is called "sensationalism". It defines some genres of media (tabloids) and was avoided until recently by companies that were considered higher caliber journalism. That we have no "news" above sensationalism today is telling in my opinion.

      With all the hyper sensationalism today, I would be interested in seeing a large "news" site like "The Guardian" drop the sensationalism for a few weeks and see what happens. I'm guessing that readership may actually increase, if for no other reason than the appearance of being different. In a society full of bullshit a little bit of honesty may go a long way.

      Could be a pipe dream too, not everyone is intelligent or worried about honesty.

  • Often there may be an interesting tidbit in the clickbait articles, but it's obviously annoying to have to actually click on them and find the actual sentence of info buried in 5 paragraphs of fluff and 20 ads.

    There are some Twitter feeds that spoil the clickbait from it ( https://twitter.com/SavedYouAClick [twitter.com] is probably the most "useful" at this) but it'd be nice to automate the process so that when someone posted any headline with clickbait, Facebook would just drop the answer right below. Actually a br
    • I feel the same way when any site makes me do some stupid 20 click throughs to read an entire article.

      The multiple clicks pissing me off has reached the point of 1 now. If your presenting information, and you have to make me reload the damn page 10 times to update a little paragraph, you're doing it wrong.

      • No, they aren't doing it wrong. They are doing it right for their business model, because it works. If nobody saw that crap, click through the click bait, and didn't click the "share to see what happened next" only to be tricked into sharing their account details and not ever seeing what they came to see, their business model would fail.

        But enough people fall for the bullshit that I really believe that is how we get GWB and BHO as presidents!

  • ...FB just banned their existence.
  • Stop there (Score:5, Funny)

    by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @06:15PM (#47752065) Homepage

    They need to be careful and make sure they don't reduce Robin Williams tributes or Ice Bucket Challenges. Otherwise there won't be anything left :(

    • by starless ( 60879 )

      They need to be careful and make sure they don't reduce Robin Williams tributes or Ice Bucket Challenges. Otherwise there won't be anything left :(

      Don't worry - there will always be pictures of food and people's children and pets...

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:09PM (#47752457) Journal

    Mainstream news outlets are a lot more guilty of clickbait headlines than Buzzfeed. Don't get me wrong, Buzzfeed is a dopey website, but the mainstream sites have taken it to a whole 'nother level.

    If you use the twitter, the absolutely best follow is someone called, "@SavedYouAClick", who basically takes clickbait headlines and defuses them by reading the article and giving you the bit you actually might want to know, saving you from having to click and a barrage of ads and trackers. They're really really useful, and now whenever I see clickbait, before I even think of clicking, I go see @SavedYouAClick. I wish I knew who it was so I could thank them personally.

    For example, from the other day:

    No you haven’t. RT @EliteDaily: Apparently You’ve Been Tying Your Shoes The Wrong Way Your Entire Life:


    Nope. RT @HuffingtonPost: Is Jennifer Lawrence starring in Quentin Tarantino's next movie?

    My favorite is when @SavedYouAClick really nails some sacred cow:

    "Change your passwords" and "don't be stupid." RT @CNNMoney: Ok so you've been hacked. Now what? Here's what to do right now:

    • by Liselle ( 684663 )

      I wish I knew who it was so I could thank them personally.

      The person who runs that Twitter account is a guy named Jake Beckman.

      I guess I saved you a Google search.

      • I guess I saved you a Google search

        If you can lend me $50, you can save me from going to work tomorrow.

  • by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Monday August 25, 2014 @07:26PM (#47752555) Homepage Journal

    This is solely about viral marketing and Facebook ad revenue. Preventing people from seeing naturally shared articles will prevent things from naturally going viral. In order to get views marketers will need to pay for views.

  • turned off Top Stories yet?

    It's bullshit that one has to reset a boolean preference every few days for something no one wants.

  • And every annoying "Name a word without the letter F. Bet you can't" post.

  • I know another place where there is a lot of click-bait links and summaries.

  • If only Slashdot could do the same

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.