Saturday , March 10 2018

You’ll never believe how Facebook takes aim at linkbait junk using one weird trick

featured-blog-image_clickbaitingWe’ve all seen those annoying, bullshit clickbait headlines that include things like “old weird trick”, “you’ll never believe”, “shocking new theory”, “you’ll be hooked” and so on. Sadly, a lot of us have clicked on them to be woefully disappointed, but the publishers don’t care — by the time you realise you’ve been had, they’ve already shown you heaps of banner advertising and made a couple of dollars from you.

While avoiding clickbait is as simple as being aware of it and limiting your curiosity (surely THIS article will be legit!!), Facebook are also trying to do something about it. They want your News Feed to be a place where you catch up with what’s happening around family and friends, not where you click on the latest garbage from BuzzFeed.

Rather than remove this junk altogether, Facebook allows users to mark news items as fakes or hoaxes, so they will either (a) appear less frequently in your News Feed, or (b) will be flagged as possible junk, so you can safely skip over them.

Some of Facebook’s examples of junk headlines are particularly amusing, including “Click here to win a lifetime supply of coffee”, through to “Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah”.

Addressing this junk is now easy, at least on the website (it’s not clear yet just how well this will work on the mobile apps), as shown below:


So, do us all a favour. The next time you’re browsing Facebook and you come across something that’s obvious clickbait, don’t click on it. Don’t share it with your friends. Don’t comment on it. Just flag it as false news and help save everyone else from the cascade of junk.


Source: Facebook.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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4 Comments on "You’ll never believe how Facebook takes aim at linkbait junk using one weird trick"

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Ausdroid Reader

I use to mark all adverts as obscene no matter what they were.

And if people post this crap I usually call them out on it. I hardly ever check Facebook anymore but find myself on Google+ a lot more.

Valued Guest

The fact that they are not proactively removing this junk across the board even after reporting, shows their true degree of concern over clickbaiting, just enough PR concern to make them want to be Seen to be Trying to Do Something.

Valued Guest

Agreed. Facebook ads quite often include click bait headlines anyway.

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Valued Guest
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It’s not just Facebook. These ads are plastered all over the internet. I use Adblock for that reason.

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