Facebook “naked link” fix

written by David Steffen

Usually, when you post a link on Facebook you get a nice little preview image from the page you’re linking to along with a sample of text from the page. Except when you don’t. Sometimes it just shows the URL and nothing else–and you know that people aren’t going to click through if it’s just a URL.

I’ve had that problem with many links, especially to Diabolical Plots articles. For a while I didn’t know anything to do about it but to try again, and again, and again. Sometimes it would work well after hours, sometimes it would be incorrect for weeks.

So I was very relieved to find that there is very often something you can do about it, a trick that I’ve found very handy. It helps work around the flaw that Facebook hasn’t bothered to correct after years and years of it manifesting.

1. Visit the Facebook developer’s page.

2. In the text box enter the problem URL.

3. click Debug button.

4. On the page that loads click the “Fetch New Scrape Information” button.

5. Now go back to your regular Facebook page and try posting the link again.

 

After you enter the URL you’ll see a whole bunch of technical gobbledygook. You don’t need to pay any attention to that. The important thing is to cajole the Facebook engine into fetching new information about your page. Really, it should just do that whenever you post a link in preparation for making the link preview, but for some reason it doesn’t.

Sometimes this doesn’t work either, and when that’s the case I don’t know of any other solution.

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David also writes articles here and edits the fiction. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on Twitter for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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