In yet another move to reduce the reach and impact of low-quality, fake and misleading content on their platform, Facebook has announced a new News Feed algorithm update on Friday. With this update, it will limit the reach of content shared by people who are known to frequently blast out links to clickbait stories, sensationalist websites, and misinformation.
Facebook said the change would reduce the influence of a “tiny group” of people it has identified who share vast amounts of public posts daily, spamming people’s feeds.
“Our research shows that there is a tiny group of people on Facebook who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds. Our research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation. As a result, we want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president for the News Feed, in a blog post.
According to Facebook, what counts as a ‘vast amount’ of posts in this context is ” related to the people who are sharing 50+ posts per day.” Mosseri also notes that not everyone who shares content at that volume will see the reach of their posts reduced. “Of course, this is only one signal among many others that may affect the ranking prioritization of this type of post.’
Also, the new change would affect only links shared by those people, not their photos or other posts. “This update will only apply to links, such as an individual article, not to domains, Pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates.”
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, which has 2 billion monthly active users, frequently tweaks the computer code behind the News Feed. In May, Facebook announced a change that would give lower prominence to links that lead to pages full of deceptive or annoying ads. And now this new change will de-prioritize links from specific spammers.