Facebook Is On A Quest Of Purging Clickbait From News Feed

You Won’t BELIEVE what this man does every day; when she walked out of the house something INCREDIBLE happened; when you look at this football match you will be SHOCKED. Are these titles feel familiar? We are bombarded daily from a plethora of sources with clickbait articles, trying to get as many clicks as possible. They could be called a degradation of journalism, and when you think a bit about it, they are. Written only to gather as many visits as they can, with filler content, without any real value, clickbaits have obnoxiously flooded the Internet, and even though years passed since this clickbait tsunami hit shores of the internet and still there’s not a single trace of evidence of it stopping.

Clickbait

But, maybe the biggest social network in the world, Facebook, is onto something, something that’ll purge the web from clickbaits. Facebook recently started tinkering with the algorithm behind News Feed, but this time company’s intentions can be described as altruistic, at least at the moment. Facebook announced that during the next couple of weeks, they’ll introduce a change, in a try to reduce the number of clickbait headlines swarming your news feed.

They’ll accomplish this by implementing a detailed scan of headlines, searching for the ones having words like Scandalous; Shocking; Unbelievable, and similar, all of them inside headlines of most clickbait articles. Also, the company is trying to remove any exaggerated, misleading or just headlines which don’t really explain the news behind them. The reason behind all this is simple; Facebook wants to provide better value for its users, enabling the News Feed to show relevant stories, stories that will provide helpful information, relevant to users.

Image Courtesy Of Brian Gordon (FowlLanguageComics.com)

Image Courtesy Of Brian Gordon (FowlLanguageComics.com)

Data scientist Alex Peysakhovich and UE (user experience) researcher Kristin Hendrix published a blog post in which they stated that a core value of Facebook’s News Feed is to provide “authentic communication” to users, communication providing relevant information, and let’s face it, clickbaits are far from relevant and authentic.

The best thing about it is that Facebook will not only hunt for clickbaits, but the changes in the algorithm will also scan articles looking for domains and web pages articles are coming from, so even domains producing said articles will face the consequences. Penalties are not very severe, but will have a large impact on clickbait providers. The articles will be ranked much lower, appearing after posts from relevant news sources, and post from your friends. The company stated that “websites and Pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution to decrease.” In other words, it’s like Google decided to banish clickbait pages by moving them from the first three pages of search results. And we all know that more that 80 percent of people don’t click on the fourth page of search results.

The good news for all of the sites mass manufacturing clickbait articles is that Facebook stated that if those sites stop posting clickbait headlines, their rank will gradually start to rise. A smart move that will probably make writers spend more time constructing an article, providing higher quality articles containing relevant information, of real value for users.

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