Note: This is a misfeature of Facebook, but consideration might be given by StackExchange to working around it.

If someone discusses a topic on Facebook that is covered by a Stackexchange question, I will cut and paste the URL into a comment.

Facebook, in its urge to provide visual clues, automatically looks for some image to include with the link to act as a preview.

In practice, the first image it finds is the avatar of the last person to edit the question. As much as I think we should acknowledge the fine work of the editors, this is not an appropriate image to go with the question.

I do not know the rules Facebook uses to select an image. I do not know if Facebook publish a mechanism for site-owners to provide an appropriate image. Facebook has published how to indicate the appropriate image.

It would be nice for the selected image to be the icon appropriate to the site, not a cartoon picture of a random user.

Related question: Why does the Stack Exchange network not have a thumbnail image when a question/answer is posted on Reddit?

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    The same issue occurred with reddit a while back IIRC... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/147631/… – Richard J. Ross III Apr 14 '13 at 4:50
  • @Richard: Excellent find as it points out FB's rules and interface. I have added it to the question. Thanks. – Oddthinking Apr 14 '13 at 7:44
  • It might also apply to search engine indexing? – Arjan Apr 14 '13 at 9:13
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    This is a dupe of the majority of posts on FSO :-P og:image FTW – Lix Apr 14 '13 at 15:33
  • @Lix: Example links or it didn't happen.... :-) – Oddthinking Apr 14 '13 at 22:32

Stack Overflow should serve a working <og:image> to fix this.

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    To start with, I suggest you monitor your tone. It can be difficult to convey emotions over text, but this comes across as rather rude and condescending. Remember the "Be Nice" policy. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:38
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    "Facebook selection of images works as it should." No, FB works as FB says it should. It can be a bug-free implementation of a defined standard, and still be a misfeature. FB is selecting an inappropriate image from a site that has not offered a preferred one. The selection of an inappropriate image is a misfeature. The fact the Stack Exchange does not conform to an optional standard does not change this. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:41
  • Misfeature based on your assumption and perspective. Is Facebook scraper sentient? No. – phwd Apr 28 '13 at 16:42
  • "This is not how Facebook selects images. This is your assumption." Yes, and I initially stated that I did not know how it worked. That it chooses the first large-enough image rather than the first image says to me I made a pretty good guess. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:42
  • I linked to the HyperArts site as evidence that a standard had been published. Any tutorial or description would have sufficed. I didn't intend to claim it was the official standard. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:44
  • You cannot call it a misfeature when all the only intent of image preview is to show an image from the link selected. – phwd Apr 28 '13 at 16:45
  • your sentence states it as "Facebook have published how to indicate the appropriate image." then you link to a random page, come on @_@ – phwd Apr 28 '13 at 16:45
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    "Misfeature based on your assumption and perspective." Yes. I don't apologise for that. "Is Facebook scraper sentient? No." Strawman. FB could simply choose NOT to illustrate with an image if the page doesn't conform to the standard. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:46
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    You can go down the road of I'm rude, w/e. Your question is entirely based on incorrect statements and assumptions. I'm highlighting to you that. – phwd Apr 28 '13 at 16:46
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    I think I should disengage at this point. You are trolling. – Oddthinking Apr 28 '13 at 16:46
  • Again your lack of knowledge of how Facebook scraper works impedes your actual argument. Facebook offers the choice not to show the image it's called "remove preview". ` FB could simply choose NOT to illustrate with an image if the page doesn't conform to the standard` and it does, again your lack of knowledge as well as overlooking the image reference above from the debugger is amazing. Facebook provided an image that met the standard. – phwd Apr 28 '13 at 16:49
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    "it's not enough to be right. You also have to be a dick about it!" Could this answer not be condensed down to "Stack Overflow should serve a working <og:image>"? – Pekka Apr 28 '13 at 17:57
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    Would be nice if someone could point out the rude parts – random Apr 28 '13 at 18:00
  • @odd - ignoring for a second the tone of the post, it's content is correct. Facebook just scrapes the URL it was provided and displays what it has retrieved. It's the URL's author that is in charge of manipulating the data contained within the URL in such a way that Facebook will "see what they want to be seen". This includes using the og:meta tags. – Lix Apr 28 '13 at 18:02
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    @phw - I think the main misinterpretation of tone was a result of your choice of structure. The whole FALSE, and INCORRECT format and also the bolding... – Lix Apr 28 '13 at 18:05

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