Facebook Wants to Know Why You Hide Posts

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook has revealed plans to give its members the option of explaining why they remove content from their 'News Feeds'. Officially the plan is designed to help the average Facebook member, but it may also benefit advertisers.

The move is somewhat surprising for Facebook. So far the firm has mainly concentrated on finding out what people do like (hence the iconic 'Like' button) and creating advertising based on those preferences.

However, while users can click to remove (or rather, 'hide') content from their News Feed, there's no way for the user to explain why they dislike something.

Current Facebook Feedback System Limited

At the moment, if you click to hide a post, Facebook adjusts its algorithm to show you less content from the person who made the post, or the page from which the content originally came.

However, that's an imprecise way to deal with situations where you have a friend or relative who you want to follow on Facebook but who frequently posts about subjects that get you angry or don't interest you.

Under the new system you'll get a list of options when you click to hide content.

For example, when you hide an advertisement, you can explain that you did it a) because it doesn't interest you; b) because it contradicts your personal views; c) because you've seen it too many times; or d) because you find it misleading or explicit. (Source: go.com)

How you respond will influence the action Facebook takes. If you choose a personal option (such as finding the content uninteresting or against your views), Facebook will simply show you less of that type of content. However, this won't affect what kind of content Facebook shows to other people.

New Tool Could Remove Offensive Ads Quickly

If, however, you say the content is misleading or explicit, Facebook will use this response to decide whether it shows the content to anyone, and not just you.

One benefit is that this may be a much quicker way for the site to find out if an advertisement or other type of post is causing widespread offense and may need to be removed. (Source: cnet.com)

The way the system works means all responses are confidential. If you hide a post, the friend who made it won't find out you've hidden it -- let alone why you chose to do so.

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