Facebook to Offer a “Keyword Snooze” Function

Have you ever been late home from work, wanting to watch your favorite TV show on replay, when you check Facebook and – uh-oh!?! Spoilers everywhere! Well now, you have the option to block that information out. Facebook has announced a new “keyword snooze” function that will allow users to mute certain keywords from their news feed.

By simply tapping on a feed consisting of the word you do not want to see, you will have the option to “snooze” that keyword for a period of up to 30 days. Therefore, if you are tired of seeing friends’ updates on the big game, you simply “snooze” any words involved like “Warriors” and “Cavaliers.” “Poof” – no more updates or spoilers on that topic!

You may be thinking, “By having to click on the feed, aren’t you exposing yourself to what it says?” Absolutely correct. However, a spokesperson from Facebook made it clear that this will not be the case with full functionality. Facebook is looking to add a preemptive snooze option in the next few weeks, most likely in News Feed “Preferences.” Therefore, you will be able to control any content you wish not to see before it pops up.

Some theorists argue that this function may create an “echo chamber” effect. This occurs in politics and media whereby only seeing what you want to see, you reinforce your existing views, which can increase extremism or polarization of a topic. This decreases engagement and constructive discussion, but only time will tell if this becomes true.

As of this writing, the feature only works on text, not images or ads you may see. It also won’t suggest synonyms you might want to snooze as well. The spokesperson noted this was an issue that kept coming up during interviews with users. It is different from Instagram’s permanent blocklist, but the length of time you block a keyword may increase after the function is released.

Keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks on this effective little upgrade.


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