What to do when your newsfeed is full of clickbait and fake news

That simply can’t be true!

I have caught myself thinking this over and over, more and more often recently. Fake news stories and unbelievably stretched headlines encourage me to find out what the actual story is by clicking. Yep, I’ll admit it… I’m guilty… I am regularly sucked in by click-bait of a certain sort. The sort that drives my curiosity to find out if XYZ is really true. It’s a total waste of my time, and I know it, but I still want to see what my overseas friends are up to, find out about local happenings and see what the world is up to in general.

This has led me to wondering if I need to do a digital review more often, or more thoroughly than I do, or if I can manage my feed a different way so that I still get to see the things i’m interested in. Well here’s the best part – you can still enjoy your newsfeed by tending it as the delicately balanced garden that it is.

I’ve been working on a way to make sure I see what I want to see and not too much else. I’ve developed a small set of rules about what to follow and click on, so that I keep my feed full of friends pictures, local events and businesses as well as just enough cute cat pictures (ok actually videos of dogs doing hilarious things) to keep my interest.

Newsfeed clean up in 3, 2, 1…

  1. Click the correct ‘like’ button.

    I’ve found the biggest impact is achieved by make sure when you like a certain piece of content, that you click the like button for the actual content, not the one for the page that posted that content. Of course, if you really do like the page, and want to see lots more stuff they post, you should definitely like the page.

    Facebook Like Buttons on a sponsored post
    When you like a post, make sure you click the ‘Post-like’ button, not the ‘Page-like’ button
  2. Should I like it, share it or comment on it?

    Here’s the thing, if you click on it in any way, or even just pause and look at it for longer than other posts the algorithm that is trying it’s hardest to serve you up things you might enjoy viewing will think it’s found something good. It will find more stuff that is similar and show you that as well. If you genuinely found something worth your time, it’s worth interacting with it so the algorithm finds you more stuff like that.

    1. If it’s funny, click like
    2. If you think your general circle of friends would be interested, click share
    3. If you want to talk about it – comment.
    4. If you want to bring it to a particular persons attention, tag them in the comments by clicking the comment button and typing ‘@’ followed by the persons name.
  3. Unfollow and unlike pages

    You can unfollow pages that you don’t like seeing the content of without un-liking them. So if your friend has a great business that you want to support by liking their page, but you see too many of their marketing posts this is an ideal thing to do. Likewise, if you’re amped up to be supporting all their posts (or  you’re checking out your competitors online) then you can opt to see everything they post first-thing in your news feed from here too.

    1. Go to the page,
    2. Click the ‘Following’ button, and choose how much of them you want to see in your newsfeed.

      Unfollow pages without un-liking them to remain supportive of the cause, while reducing their space in your news feed.
  4. Don’t look at or interact with anything that’s wasting your time

    If you sigh and think, this is not even worth my time, then make sure you carry on scrolling really quick! Don’t click on it!! If it looks like click-bait, but you really must know if it’s true just google it instead! (like that time MJ crashed google)

 

Quite some time ago, I became the go-to techie person for my friends and family. Then they started telling other people. Now I can be your go-to person for confidential technology advice and mentoring that’s made to work in the real world. Your technology should be supporting your life – not the other way around.