Facebook strengthens their anti-clickbait campaign to stop bogus headlines

Posted on Posted in 2016 Business Opportunities For You, What's Trending Now

 

Facebook Pages and websites that deliberately exaggerate, withhold, or distort information in their link headlines will disappear from News Feed thanks to a new anti-clickbait algorithm that’s now rolling out.

 

Facebook manually classified tens of thousands of headlines with a “clickbaitiness” score to train the new algorithm. Now it can detect headlines like “When He Looked Under His Couch And Saw THIS…I Was SHOCKED!”; “She Put Ice In Her Shoes, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next”; or “The Dog Barked At The Mailman, But Then This Happened.”

 

Rather than just assigning a binary “Yes, clickbait” or “not clickbait,” each story gets a score about how egregious it is. The algorithm primarily looks for phrases often used in clickbait headlines but not in legitimate headlines, similar to email spam filters.

 

The higher the clickbait likelihood, the more the algorithm punishes the entire Page that shared them or site they link to by making all their posts or referral links less visible. “If you post 50 times a day and post one piece a clickbait, this shouldn’t affect you. If you’re a spammer and post clickbait all day, this should affect you a lot,” Facebook’s VP of Product Management on News Feed, Adam Mosseri said.

 

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Luckily, if a publisher reforms its ways and “they stop posting clickbait, their referral traffic will bounce back,” Mosseri explains. And since the algorithm identifies offenders on both the web domain level and the Facebook Page level, spammers can’t build a Page and then just launch new websites with different URLs to elude punishment.

 

Clickbait is one of the most complained about parts of the News Feed. Some people even file bug reports blaming the News Feed ranking algorithm. The change aligns with Facebook’s recently announced News Feed Values. “Authentic Communication” is one of the five values, along with “Friends And Family Come First,” which led to last month’s feed change to de-emphasize news publishers.

 

Facebook is even open to sharing its insights about how to fight clickbait with other social networks or tech products. “I have no problem walking any company through what we did and how we did it so they can borrow it,” Mosseri said.

 

However, Facebook won’t be publicly publishing the multi-page document of guidelines for defining clickbait because “a big part of this is actually spam, and if you expose exactly what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, they reverse-engineer it and figure out how to get around it.”

 

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