By Mallory Locklear
Scrolling through your Facebook News Feed, you’ll probably come across posts telling you to like or comment if you share some sort of similar sentiment — “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” — or telling you to share it so you can earn a chance at winning a prize. Well, you might start seeing a lot less of those types of posts because Facebook is now cracking down on “engagement bait.” Facebook said, “We will demote posts that go against one of our key News Feed values — authenticity…We want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.”
Facebook trained a machine learning model to spot engagement bait by feeding it hundreds of thousands of posts categorized as engagement bait or not. Now, its News Feed algorithm will demote posts that use engagement bait and over the next few weeks, it will also begin to more strictly demote Pages that repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially boost their reach.
Types of posts that won’t be subject to demotion include posts that ask for advice or recommendations, circulations of missing child reports or money raising efforts.
This is the latest move Facebook has made in its battle against clickbait. It has already demoted posts with fake videos and tweaked its algorithm to bury fake news and clickbaity stories. Facebook says these efforts are meant to “foster more authentic engagement,” which, according to its latest “Hard Questions” post, might influence how enjoyable or taxing social media can be.