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Facebook Has a Plan to Fight Click-Bait Headlines

by Todd Haselton | August 25, 2014August 25, 2014 9:00 pm PST


Facebook has a new system that it hopes will eliminate click-bait headlines once and for all. Sometimes we all get excited about a topic, and obviously nobody wants to give away the whole story in a headline or a lede, but Facebook wants to make sure that all of those spammy-type headlines are getting filtered from your news feeds.

You won’t believe what happens next!

“‘Click-baiting’ is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see,” Facebook’s research scientist Khalid El-Arini and product specialist Joyce Tang said on Monday. The problem, they argue, is that readers ultimately click into a story that doesn’t have the content advertised and simply leave the page, heading right back to Facebook. That kind of action not only hurts Facebook but also publishers who are putting real content out on the social network.

“With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.” It advises publishers to be sure to share links that populate a story’s headline and a bit more information about what’s on the other side of the link, versus a simple picture with text.

Content creators who use click-bait headlines may start to see changes over the next several weeks, Facebook said.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...