Clearing Facebook’s Cached Fetches

Earlier, I ran into an issue with a website suffering a configuration issue that resulted in a redirect loop.  During this time, the site had been added to a Facebook post.  As expected, rather than displaying site content in the preview that it puts together, Facebook noted in the preview that there was a 301 redirect.

The issue was that after the configuration issue was resolved, Facebook continued to display the site URL as a 301 redirect, which makes sense – you don’t serve content to 1.6 billion active users without some serious caching.

To get Facebook to fetch the most recent content you have two options:

  1. Wait
  2. Force it to re-grab the preview data via the Facebook object debugger tool

To use the debugger, visit https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug in your browser – you’ll be asked to log in if you aren’t already.

Then pop the URL into the Input URL box and submit.  Facebook will display the previously-cached information with that 301 redirect that you want it to forget.

Facebook Object Debugger

The secret sauce is that “Fetch New Scrape Information” button.   Click it and Facebook will dutifully re-scrape your site, refreshing its cache and happily serving this updated data to its users, ftw.