Facebook Continues Clickbait Crackdown

Facebook is continuing to address low-quality content plaguing users’ News Feeds, the company stated this week.

“People tell us they don’t like stories that are misleading, sensational or spammy,” says Arun Baby, a Facebook engineer. “That includes clickbait headlines that are designed to get attention and lure visitors into clicking on a link. ”

Last year Facebook made an update to News Feed to reduce stories from sources that consistently post clickbait headlines that withhold and exaggerate information. Today, the company is making three updates that build on this work so that people will see even fewer clickbait stories in their feeds.

“In an effort to support an informed community, we’re always working to determine what stories might have clickbait headlines so we can show them less often,” says Annie Liu, a Facebook engineer.

The first change is taking into account clickbait at the individual post level in addition to the domain and Page level. The second is to look at whether a headline withholds information or if it exaggerates information separately. Finally, Facebook is testing this work in additional languages.

“Posts with clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed,” says Jordan Zhang, a Facebook engineer. “We will continue to learn over time, and we hope to continue expanding this work to reduce clickbait in even more languages.”

As for publishers, Facebook says that those who rely on clickbait headlines “should expect their distribution to decrease.”