Tip o’ the Week 382 – F…F…Feeds in Edge

clip_image001If you use the Edge browser in Windows 10 as your default (presumably by ignoring prompts on any Google property, to clip_image002install and default to Chrome) then you may be familiar with the default tab behaviour, which helpfully shows you most-visited sites and also displays some “news” content below.

This “My feed” section can be a neat way to get news items of interest without having to do anything but fire up a new browser tab when you were planning to do something else anyway. Maybe distracting, though, unless you’re careful, and as well as the news, there’s plenty of click-bait garbage in there that can do just that. Who couldn’t resist naming these forgotten 1990s movies, or those car badges you don’t see any more? Or wonder what it was that happened next that shocked everyone?

There isn’t a lot of fine-tuning that can be achieved with My feed, however; a fact that’s driving people nuts on feedback forums and on the sometimes preposterously-named “Answers” forum (“please clear your browser cache, reboot, stand on one leg and rub the top clip_image004of your head – that should fix it”).

Some of the feedback, though, and particularly the responses to it on the Insiders-only Feedback Hub, can be quite amusing….

The main degree of customisation you can do is to tweak the settings for what you prefer – click on the gear icon in the top right (above the Top Sites section)clip_image006and choose whether you want to switch off the feed and just show Top sites or nothing. Some lanugages (not US English, oddly) allow you to choose what your favourite topics are, though deselecting some (and making the surrounding border disappear from the topic) doesn’t actually remove it from your feed – it just makes it a little less prevalent, and not quite immediately.

clip_image008If you have US English set as your language, you will get a list of topics across the top of the feed to filter its contents, but in every other language it seems to be pre-sorted.

The gripes being exposed online about the feed tend to be around the nature of the clip_image010news itself or in the tone and volume of the adverts (like, in the UK, do I really want Microsoft to push dodgy-sounding $30 TV antennae?).

The most annoying ads appear to be served up by Taboola and there doesn’t appear to be a way of blocking them – unless you know differently; then please write up what you did and share the info with me, whereupon kudos will be bestowed in great quantity – so if you don’t want to put up with intrustive click-bait, then your only current option is to basically switch off the feed and go somewhere else for your news (research shows many are using social media as their preferred way of hearing news, though the tide may be turning).

Maybe use a proper news web aggregator site, e.g. Bing news or this little-used one, both of which would let you filter and customise your news sources, or rely on a news app to provide you with even more control or detail (such as MSN News or Feedlab if you’re after getting your news up the RSS).

The challenge with any news feed is filtering out the fake news. Still, there’s still the odd bit of truth out there.

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