Skip links

Facebook is helping us ignore annoying viral posts


Thanks to Facebook we won’t have to see annoying viral posts on our news feeds for much longer. The Social Network are adjusting their algorithm so that certain types of viral content which many users have noted as deceiving or a hoax won’t appear on other user’s News Feeds.

In this post on the Facebook Newsroom, the network explained that they are making changes to stop people from having hoax stories popping up on their feed. They are doing this with the help of surveys, using feedback from other users to affect the ranking of viral stories. The article says this…

“We survey tens of thousands of people every day, and for the story surveys, we ask them if they prefer a particular viral post to another post. With this update, if a significant amount of people tell us they would prefer to see other posts more than that particular viral post, we’ll take that into account when ranking… With the hoaxes example, if the majority of people taking the survey say they would rather see another story in their feed than the viral hoax story, then we’ll infer the story might not be as interesting, and show the viral story lower down in people’s feeds in the future.”

The reason we have been seeing them so far is that the current algorithm uses shares and comments as the main focus for viral consideration. Now, so long as we are willing to tell Facebook that the viral stories are irrelevant and that we’d prefer to see something else in feedback, then we won’t be subjected to them as much.

Facebook has already made changes that allow users to mark posts as false, so it’s great to see them continue to crack down on misleading clickbait in a way that won’t affect content from reputable sources.

Facebook have done their bit to help us ignore annoying posts – all we have to do is be willing to give them feedback.

Leave a comment