Facebook cracks down on posts that bait users into liking and sharing content

Facebook will start demoting posts like this. (Facebook Images)

If you’re tired of seeing posts ordering you to “like if you’re not you before your morning coffee” or “tag your 10 best friends from college,” Facebook has some good news for you.

Beginning this week, the social media juggernaut will start demoting “engagement bait” posts in News Feed. Facebook’s algorithm elevates posts that get a lot of likes, comments, and shares in News Feed. Engagement bait takes advantage of that by compelling users to interact.

“We want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations,” Facebook’s Henry Silverman and Lin Huang wrote in a blog post published Monday.

Facebook categorized hundreds of thousands of engagement bait posts and fed them into a machine learning model that will scan for additional content that fits the mold and demote it in News Feed. Facebook also plans to start demoting Pages that regularly use engagement bait in the coming weeks. The company says the new standards won’t impact posts seeking advice, help, or recommendations like “a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips.”

Changes to the News Feed algorithm are par for the course at Facebook. The company makes tweaks regularly to prioritize content (like video) and reduce posts that feel inauthentic (like clickbait).