FacebookUncleSamNo, Uncle Sam isn’t deliberately pointing a finger at you or Ellora’s Cave, the e-book erotica site that Chris Meadows posted about. In fact, when you share Chris’s item on Facebook, Uncle should not be there at all. Instead you should see a logo for the publisher.

But something weird is happening. The fault might be at our end, but Chris could not replicate the problem when he shared the item on LinkedIn. What’s more, Facebook has also picked up the wrong images from other people’s sites.

This bizarreness is also happening when you try to share certain other posts—with the same amusing mismatches between the text and images.

The problem might be in Facebook’s implementation of the Open Graphic Protocol. Very possibly, based on the documentation I’ve read, Facebook feels that the thumbnail images displayed on TeleRead’s home page are too small. Our WordPress theme calls for images of 174 by 131. But according to one error message I read from a Facebook analyzer, the service prefers at least 200 X 200. Otherwise it may infer what image to use, perhaps going by dimensions of images, as opposed to their suitability. I tried regenerating one problematic thumbnail to a 200 X 200. No luck.

Stay tuned. I’m going to reach the people behind the ML Magazine theme and perhaps the consultants they work with. Let’s see if we can’t get to the bottom of this—and stop Uncle from pointing at Ellora’s Cave and me. Meanwhile you can help TeleRead by continuing to share our items on Facebook. If need be, use a means other than the homepage “share” button to post them. But do try the button first to see if it works. Remember, this image glitch is limited only to certain photos, and, as far as we know, only to Facebook sharing. Like LinkedIn, Google+ works fine.

Update: I’m now checking out the WP Facebook Open Graph Protocol plugin. Of course, the real issue is, why can’t I just install the theme and not worry so much about the Facebook gods? LinkedIn and Google+, after all, didn’t need this pampering.


  1. The problem might be that you are not setting a featured image with the post.

    If you set a featured image then FB will grab that and display it when the link is shared in FB.

    But if you publish a post without a featured image then FB will grab some image or other and use that instead. And you’re stuck with the image it uses.

  2. Thanks, Nate. Would that it be so simple. FB sharing goes wacko even with Featured Images working. What’s more, I’ve tried Open Graph Protocol plugins to try to get the right images recognized. The plugin mentioned at the end of the post was just the start. What misery Facebook creates!

  3. @Michael: I appreciated the tip. Digg Digg in fact looks interesting. But I’m not sure I want to install it.

    Here’s the lowdown from the accompanying WP page: “This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.” Here’s the word from Digg Digg’s developer.

    That said, perhaps a switch of social plugins would help me deal with the issue of mismatched share images on Facebook. I need a plugin that will successfully guide Facebook—though the Open Graph Protocol or otherwise—to just the right image. It needs to work with a thumbnail-dependent theme like MH Magazine. Suggestions welcome from others, too, of course.


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