Nobody likes being misled by false news stories, especially those with misleading clickbait headlines. Facebook realizes this and is improving its newsfeed guidelines to reflect that.
Last week the folks at the social media giant rolled out a new update to reduce news links with little information. These websites don’t feature great content but are usually covered head to toe with malicious, disruptive ads, usually for the purpose of increasing ad revenue for the website.
And now Facebook wants to go a little further with making news relevant again.
Three New Updates
Today Facebook is adding three updates to its newsfeed to ensure that less clickbait stories and more authentic content is visible.
Here are the updates, as shared by Facebook Newsroom:
- First, we are now taking into account clickbait at the individual post level in addition to the domain and Page level, in order to more precisely reduce clickbait headlines.
- Second, in order to make this more effective, we are dividing our efforts into two separate signals — so we will now look at whether a headline withholds information or if it exaggerates information separately.
- Third, we are starting to test this work in additional languages.
Types of Clickbait Headlines
There are two different types of clickbait headlines lurking in the News Feed. The first type withholds information in order to coax the users into clicking on the link, for example:
“When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…”
The second type exaggerates story details with buzzwords and sensational language, for example:
“WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!”
How They Resolved It
Facebook notes that they addressed this issue in a similar way they handled clickbait headlines issue in general.
They looked at hundreds of clickbait links and categorized them according to the two different types mentioned above.
From there, we identify what phrases are commonly used in clickbait headlines that are not used in other headlines. This is similar to how many email spam filters work.
After these updates clickbait news will appear lower on your News Feed and news in other languages will also be filtered.