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Monday, December 18, 2017
Facebook to Fight Engagement Bait

Facebook will start demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.

Sometimes pammy posts on Facebook goad usersinto interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, "LIKE this if you're an Aries!" This tactic, known as "engagement bait," seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.

Teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Facebook promises that posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.

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

"Similar to our other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, we want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook," said Henry Silverman, Operations Integrity Specialist at Facebook.

Facebok said that publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach.

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