Facebook Cracks Down on Engagement Bait

Facebook Cracks Down on Engagement Bait
Facebook will use machine learning to demote posts which goad users into liking, sharing, or commenting on them.

(CCM) — Facebook is cracking down on "spammy" posts which ask people to like, share, or comment on them, the company has announced.

Posts which use "engagement bait," as the tactic is called, try to take advantage of Facebook's News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement to gain greater reach, according to Henry Silverman, Facebook's operations integrity specialist. So starting this week the company will begin demoting individual posts from people or Pages that use the tactic.

To detect engagement bait automatically, Facebook has taken thousands of posts that use the tactic and fed them into a machine learning system. The system can now spot new posts that use engagement bait when they are posted and demote them.

In the near future Facebook said it plans stricter demotions for Pages that repeatedly use engagement bait to gain artificial reach in News Feed. But it added that posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be demoted.

Last week Facebook introduced a feature called "Snooze," which gives users greater control over the content of their News Feed by allowing them to remove all posts by specific people or Pages from it for a period of 30 days.

Image: © Facebook.