You’ve likely seen it before: a Facebook post that says “LIKE this if you’re a Scorpio” or “SHARE this with ten friends to win a free convertible!”
These posts, which Facebook refers to as ‘engagement bait,’ are created specifically to goad users into interacting with them. As a result, Facebook says that many users have reached out to express their dislike for the abundance of these spammy posts.
In response, Facebook has announced that it has reviewed and categorized “hundreds of thousands” of these kinds of posts to create a machine learning model that can detected different types of engagement bait. Facebook identifies several types of engagement bait, including those that bait for likes, shares, comments, tags and votes. Facebook says that posts that fall into any of these categories will show up less frequently in News Feed.
Facebook clarified that posts that aren’t considered bait include asking for help, advice, or recommendations for causes like raising money for charity or seeking travel tips. “We want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook,” the company wrote in a blog post.
As well, Facebook says that Pages that continue to use engagement bait will be demoted, starting in the coming weeks. Facebook says it is giving publishers some time to “adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts.”