Severe weather could impact Hampton Roads, NE North Carolina Monday afternoon and evening
Heat Advisory in effect for Hampton Roads and NE North Carolina until 8 p.m. Monday

Facebook to demote posts fishing for Likes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Facebook wants users to stop posting “engagement bait.”

On Monday, the social network said it would start demoting posts that exploit its algorithm, which prioritizes updates with high engagement.

These posts, which encourage users to interact with likes, shares and comments, often show up in more News Feeds. One such example: “Tag a friend who is a Capricorn.”

Although any Facebook user could take advantage of the method, it’s most commonly used among brands looking to grow its reach.

“To help us foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait,” the company said in a blog post. “Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.”

The company said it will have stricter demotions for repeat offenders. It added that page administrators looking to increase brand reach on the site should “focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories.”

The update will be rolled out over several weeks to give publishers time to adjust.

However, posts that ask users for help, advice or recommendations will not be affected by the update.

Facebook’s slap on the wrist is a part of a greater effort to crackdown on spam. Earlier this year, the tech giant said it would demote clickbait headlines and show less “low-quality” web pages, which have too many ads and not enough original text or images. If a site’s ads are “disruptive, shocking, or malicious,”Facebook will make sure fewer users can see and click it. These pages cannot buy ads on Facebook.

The move also comes days after Facebook announced a 30-day “mute” button for people, pages and groups. The company says this will give users more control over their Feed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.