Facebook to crack down on pages that use ‘engagement bait’; will demote pages that ask users to 'like' or 'share' posts

Facebook users may no longer have to deal with posts that ask them to 'like' if they are a fan of any particular TV show or sports personality, or 'share' if they agree to something. The social network in a blog post said that it will start cracking down on pages that use ‘engagement bait’ on the social media platform.

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo. Image: Reuters

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo. Image: Reuters

According to the post by Henry Silverman, the Operations Integrity Specialist and Lin Huang, Engineer at Facebook, the company is taking into account, the feedback and repeated complaints by users about how much "they dislike spammy posts on Facebook". The company is planning to fight the pages that try to take advantage of Facebook’s ‘New Feed' algorithm by boosting engagement for increased reach.

It has reviewed and categorised "hundreds of thousands" of such spammy posts to train a machine learning model so that the system can detect a number of engagement baits that different pages employ. As part of its strategy, pages that engage in such behaviour will show less on the news feed and the company will tighten the implementation to demote repeat offenders in coming weeks.

The company is not rolling out the ‘Page-level demotion’ right away as it will give page publishers time to adapt to the changes by changing their practices. The post on Facebook newsroom pointed out that the machine learning algorithm will not affect genuine use case scenarios that circulate information on "mission child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips."

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

To clarify its stance, Facebook added that it will demote the pages that are against one of the key drivers of the ‘News Feed’ algorithm which is ‘authenticity.’ This will work along with the changes that Facebook has made to reduce ‘clickbait headlines’ or ‘low-quality web page experiences’ in the past.


Published Date: Dec 18, 2017 21:20 PM | Updated Date: Dec 18, 2017 22:38 PM