If Artifact receives enough reports about an article, it might end up changing the headline.
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Feel like an article is clickbait-y? Artifact, the AI-powered news app from Instagram’s co-founders, now has a tool that lets you feel like you can do something about it. In the latest version of the app, which is now available, you can flag articles you think are clickbait. The feedback will be used as “a signal in ranking so we can better prioritize helpful articles over misleading ones for the community,” Artifact writes in a blog post.
To start, Artifact will be monitoring the most reported articles and then deciding what it might want to do in response. That includes options like reducing an article’s distribution in feeds or even modifying the headline in some way to be less misleading, Artifact’s Kevin Systrom tells The Verge over email. The company is “actively experimenting with different approaches” to change articles if needed, it hasn’t “decided what the best course of action is yet,” he says. “We’ll come to a conclusion through running experiments and gathering user feedback.”
I’m curious to see what those changes might end up looking like in practice. If Artifact changes a headline, that puts the onus on the company to make sure the headline is accurate. But if a changed headline isn’t clearly marked in some way, readers may unfairly blame any inaccuracies on those changes to a writer.
You can find the option to flag something as clickbait in the three dots menu in an article or by pressing and holding on an article in your feed.
Artifact announced two other features on Monday. You’ll be able to save an article as an image, which could be a useful way to pass along something interesting to a friend who never clicks through the links you share with them. Artifact says the feature will start rolling out on Android “later this week,” and it’s already available on iOS for me.
You can also now add emoji reactions to articles: 👍, ❤️, 😂, 😮, 😢, or 😡. Those reactions show up under headlines in your feed, so you can get an idea at a glance of how people are feeling about the article.
Since launching in January, Artifact has been pushing out updates at a rapid rate, including dropping the waitlist, adding AI-generated article summaries, introducing comments that live only in Artifact, and creating writer profiles. It’s clear the company is trying to turn its app into a blend of a news app and a social network — which is kind of what Twitter was before it got bad. But I don’t know if these and features like the clickbait flag and emoji reactions will be enough to make Artifact my next destination for social media and news.