Facebook’s new anti-clickbait algorithm will further remove bogus headlines

In an effort to reduce the number of clickbait stories that show up in users’ feeds and to keep posts relevant, Facebook has once again gone ahead and tweaked its algorithm that controls its News Feed. In the past too, Facebook has made changes to the news algorithm many number of times.

User Experience Researcher, Kristin Hendrix and Research Scientist, Alex Peysakhovich at Facebook explain clickbait stories as those with headlines that deliberately leave out important information or else try to mislead readers and get them to click their story.

For instance, the new Facebook algorithm can identify headlines like “What she saw at this moment will SHOCK YOU!” or “You won’t believe what will happen next” or “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe” or “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.” and it doesn’t assign only a binary like “Yes, clickbait” or “not clickbait”, but it gives each story a score. The algorithm mainly looks for phrases often used in clickbait headlines but not in genuine headlines, similar to email spam filters.

The system classifies posts that are clickbait and which Pages and web domains these posts come from. Links posted from or shared from Pages or domains that constantly post clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed. If a Page stops posting clickbait headlines, their posts will stop being affected by this change, which in turn would lead to improvement in News Feed over period of time. This new update will have a huge impact on your page, if you are a spammer.

The change supports Facebook’s recently announced “News Feed Values”, which concentrates on “Friends and Family Come First” that resulted in last month’s feed change to de-emphasize news publishers.

Facebook has published a guide for bloggers, news agencies, and anybody else on how to avoid clickbait titles. Facebook advises that publishers avoid omission of important information to fool users into clicking, like “You’ll Never Believe Who Tripped and Fell on the Red Carpet…” Instead, Facebook recommends calls to action and text prompts. It also suggests avoiding exaggeration like “This Pen Never Ever Runs Out of Ink! Get It While It Lasts!”

“Pages should avoid headlines that withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations,” Facebook explained in its page. “We don’t post clickbait and we always appreciate a new like on our page on Facebook. We rely on people like you.” Facebook added.

Click here to read more on Facebook’s clickbait.

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