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FACT CHECK: Does Facebook Only Show Posts From 25 Friends?

by Brett M. Christensen

According to various messages that have been circulating on Facebook for several months, a new Facebook algorithm is limiting posts on your newsfeed so that you only ever see posts from the same 25 friends. 

The messages claim that you can bypass this supposed limit by simply leaving a quick comment such as “hello” or a sticker. And, they instruct you to copy the message and paste it into a new post “so you can have more interaction with all your contacts and bypass the system”.

However, the claims in the messages are untrue.  There is no Facebook algorithm – new or otherwise – that specifically limits posts you see from friends to those from the same 25 people.

Facebook itself has repeatedly denied the claim via responses to questions from various media outlets. A February 7, 2018, Washington Post report notes:

We sent a couple of examples of this meme to Facebook on Tuesday for comment, and a Facebook spokesman replied overnight: “Friends don’t let friends copy and paste memes, and this one simply is not true. We rank News Feed based on how relevant each post might be to you, and while we’ve made some updates that could increase the number of posts you see from your friends, your News Feed isn’t limited to 25 of them.”

Make no mistake, Facebook certainly does limit the material you get to see on your news feed. Not everything posted by your friends will appear high on your news feed. And, these limits are not new. Facebook has always used a very complex algorithmic system that chooses which posts from which friends or Pages will be given prominence on your news feed.

Moreover, Facebook has never revealed concrete details that outline exactly how their filtering algorithm actually works. 
But, as noted, Facebook’s post-filtering algorithm is complex and it is very unlikely that you will bypass it just by commenting on the posts of your friends with the occasional “hello”.  And copying and pasting the message as instructed will do nothing to alter or bypass how the algorithm is implemented.

In January 2018, Facebook announced that it was “making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about”.  In a post about the updates, the company noted:

Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed.

 

With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.

Rumours about the supposed 25 friends post limitation may have been fueled by news of these updates.

Bottom line?  Facebook is NOT only showing you posts from the same 25 friends. Copying and pasting the false message or adding random “hello” comments will NOT bypass Facebook’s post-filtering algorithm.

Note that some versions of the message mention 26 friends rather than 25 but otherwise make the same false claims.

Examples:

Your Newsfeed recently shows only posts from the same few people, about 25, repeatedly the same, because Facebook has a new algorithm. 🙅🏻‍♀️
Their system chooses the people who will read your post. However, I would like to choose for myself, Therefore, I ask you all a favor – If you are reading this message leave me a quick comment, a “hello”, a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my news feed‼️
Otherwise Facebook chooses who to show me and I don’t need facebook to choose my friends! 🤬
Do not hesitate to copy and paste on your wall so you can have more interaction with all your contacts and bypass the system. That’s why we don’t see all posts from our friends.😮
Thanks for the heads up from those who already copied and pasted the above. Hold your finger down anywhere in this post and “copy” will pop up. Click “copy”. Then go your page, start a new post on your page, then put your finger anywhere in the blank field. “Paste” will pop up and click Paste

 

I would like to thank you for telling me how to do the bypass. Well, I tried what so many have been putting down. I wondered where everybody had been!
This is good to know: It’s ridiculous to have 800 friends and only 25 are allowed to see my post.
I ignored this post earlier, but It WORKS!! I have a whole new news feed. I’m seeing posts from people I haven’t seen in years.
Here’s how to bypass the system FB now has in place that limits posts on your news feed.
Their new algorithm chooses the same few people – about 25 – who will read your posts. Therefore,
Hold your finger down anywhere in this post and “copy” will pop up. Click “copy”. Then go your page, start a new post and put your finger anywhere in the blank field. “Paste” will pop up and click paste.
This will bypass the system.
If you are reading this message, do me a favor and leave me a quick comment…a “hello,” a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my newsfeedE


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer