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Facebook Cracksdown on Engagement Bait with Demoting Spammy Posts & Pages

If you are annoyed with spammy posts on the social network with actions, such as “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” — Facebook has begun a crackdown on this tactic commonly refer to as “engagement bait.”

The process involves demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait in order to rank higher in Facebook users news feeds. Posts that use tactic that goad you in to likes, comments, shares and other such actions will now be shown less in the News Feed. An image above shows these baiting.

However, posts with legitimate and authentic conversations will not be targeted, as the company said, “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 this update.”

The demotion will happen on both posts and Pages, with implementation of additional “stricter demotions” against Pages that engage in systematic and repeated engagement baiting over the coming weeks. The delay in this Page-level demotion will allow admins to update their posting schedules to avoid inadvertently using engagement bait. In order to avoid getting a demotion, Facebook encourages Page admins to read and understand the Newsfeed Guidelines.

What Kinds of Posts Will Be Demoted?

Facebook is taking action on the following five forms of engagement baiting:

  • Vote Bait
  • React Baiting
  • Share Baiting
  • Tag Baiting
  • Comment Baiting
  • What is Engagement Bait?
  • Vote Baiting

The following image shows Tag and comment baiting:

Tag and comment baiting on Facebook

To foster more authentic conversations, Facebook says, it has already categorized hundreds of thousands of such posts in order to train an machine learning algorithm to detect the different types of engagement bait.

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.

How will this impact Pages?

According to Facebook, publishers and businesses engaged in engagement baiting would see a decrease of reach on these posts. While, Pages with repeated engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach as well, says Facebook.

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