Facebook clamps down on Engagement Bait

Facebook is clamping down on what it calls ‘Engagement Bait’ on its network. These are spammy posts on Facebook that goad users into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!”

In a blog post, Facebook said: “This tactic… seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. So, starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use Engagement Bait.”

Facebook has reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of Engagement Bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in the News Feed.

Additionally, over the coming weeks, Facebook said it will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in the News Feed. This Page-level demotion will be rolled out over the course of several weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts.

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 adversely impacted by the update. Rather, Facebook said, it will demote posts that go against one of its key News Feed values of authenticity.

There’s more information about Engagement Bait and how to avoid using it here.