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Facebook Goes After News Feed Clickbait

Facebook Goes After News Feed Clickbait
Facebook is cracking down on misleading headlines with a dramatic change to its News Feed algorithm.

(CCM) — Facebook has had incredible success in carving out its spot in the online news industry, but it isn't going to stand for clickbait. Clickbait is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page," and Facebook's updated News Feed algorithm is designed to weed out the worst examples of it, according to reports by Business Insider. To create the algorithm, Facebook organized a team whose role it was to categorize tens of thousands of actual headlines based on whether or not they intentionally withheld information or distorted the truth. With that data, the company created an algorithm that would assign each shared headline a clickbait score. If a single Page is found to post articles that repeatedly rank high on the scale, all of that Page's posts will be given less exposure on the News Feed, essentially destroying that Page's ability — and that of the company that runs it — to reach a significant audience.

"We're trying to change the incentives, to give publishers a reason to create headlines that are more straightforward," says Facebook's Vice President of Product Management, Adam Mosseri. "We think that's going to be a better experience for people, because that's what we hear from people." The punishment is not permanent, however, and if a publisher notices its traffic nosedive, it would simply need to adjust its titling patterns to benefit from higher favor on the News Feed. This is not the first time that Facebook has tightened the reigns on targeted Facebook posts, with a recent adjustment to the News Feed algorithm to reduce the number of business posts that users see.

Image: © nevodka - Shutterstock.com
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