Facebook tries to cut the spam with news feed update

Facebook began its battle against fake news last December

Facebook has updated its news feed algorithm, in a move intended to reduce the number of low quality links that users see.

“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,” said Facebooks news feed VP Adam Mosseri. “Our research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation.”

Facebook is working to identify these spammers based on their post frequency, and deprioritising the links that they share. The update applies only to links, not status updates, photos and video, Pages or any other kind of content that users can post.

Mosseri says that the change shouldnt have a significant effect on most publishers, as domains are not affected – but they may see a reduction in distribution for individual stories if they are spammed in this way. He also notes that “this is only one signal among many others that may affect the ranking prioritisation of this type of post”. 

Its part of a wider attempt to crack down on “problematic links such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation”, as the issue of fake news becomes increasingly prevalent. It began work to make it easier for users to report fake new stories back in December, and this year rolled out additional tools in France and Germany, ahead of elections in each country.

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