Facebook Is Combating “Clickbait”

Facebook is once again improving its filter mechanisms to try to prevent you from being served up “clickbait” stories, which leave out or exaggerate details to get you to click on them.

The social media network, criticized for its role spreading misinformation during and after the U.S. presidential campaign, has been rolling out changes to its algorithm designed to reduce fake news in users’ Facebook News Feed. It’s added a “disputed” warning label to stories that tread fictitious waters, for instance.

The tools Facebook uses for fighting fake news about current events are similar to those used in combating clickbait, which amounts to a different type of fake news. Even though Facebook began targeting suspect clickbait headlines that withhold and exaggerate phrases in an update last year, clickbait continues to plague users.

In its new update, Facebook looks separately at whether a headline withholds or exaggerates when previously it identified those aspects together. Over a few months, Facebook looked at hundreds of thousands of headlines and categorized them as click bait or not, then reviewed and validated them.

Examples of leading headlines that withhold information requiring readers to click to learn details included “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…” An example of a headline exaggerating details included, “WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!”

Another move to push clickbait posts lower in your News Feed: Previously, if a page was posting a lot of clickbait that whole page might see a slight decrease in its reach. Now Facebook’s system should push an individual post with a clickbait headline further down.

Continue reading this article on USA Today.



Leave a Comment