Published: Tue, December 19, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Facebook tweaks the News Feed to demote 'engagement bait'

Facebook tweaks the News Feed to demote 'engagement bait'

Starting this week, Facebook will be demoting posts and pages that dabble with these tactics, coming down particularly hard on repeat offenders, the social network announced in a blog post on Monday.

This button helps people to see less of the content such as baby photos, political rants, or posts from people who update their feed constantly.

Facebook will start demoting posts like this.

The posts can be highly annoying and, according to Facebook, people dislike them because they "goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions". Over the next week, we're launching Snooze, which will give you the option to temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days.

Facebook has reportedly designed new technology to help spot engagement bait posts.

If you have been using Facebook you know it has its own problems.

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What's considered meaningful content differs from person to person, which makes avoiding changes like this one impossible: Some users will see your content, no matter how legitimate and useful, relegated to the bottom of their news feeds. Facebook also says it's reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts in order to train its system to accurately detect engagement bait. Anyone who is punished in this way could have their original reach returned if they stop posting engagement bait.

Facebook will now demote posts which rely on the tactic - meaning you'll see less of them in News Feed.

Facebook explains that it doesn't view all posts that ask for interaction as engagement bait: for example, posts that show a missing child report or ask for donations to a cause won't be targeted by the new demotion policy.

Some Pages or people on Facebook use posts that beg for likes, comments or shares to reach a wider audience.

The moves come amid criticism that the platform has abdicated its duty to remove fake news and other offensive content from circulation.

The company says it will implement stricter demotions for Pages that repeatedly bait engagement in a few weeks to give publishers time to adapt.

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