Facebook is taking new steps to fight spam.
The social network will now weed out posts from spammers who fill their friends’ feeds with “vast amounts” of links to “low quality content.”
“We want to reduce the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers,” writes Facebook’s VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri.
In this case, Facebook is setting a pretty high bar for what it considers a “spammer.” The update was designed to address the “tiny group” of users who share 50 or more public posts a day.
This latest update is only meant to address spam that comes from individual accounts.
Mosseri notes that the change will only affect links, since “research further shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation.”
The update is the most recent step in a series of changes the company has made to combat fake news since the election. Earlier in the week, Facebook announced it would no longer allow users to manually change the headlines and descriptions of links they share.
While Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have in the past insisted that Facebook so-called “fake news” problem is one that’s perpetuated by only a tiny fraction of Facebook’s 2 billion users, the reality is that these spammers are increasingly savvy at figuring how to game Facebook’s algorithms to have the greatest possible impact.
Importantly, this latest update is only meant to address spam that comes from individual accounts, not pages, so publishers or others that share dozens of links to less reputable sources won’t be affected. It also does nothing to address people who frequently share spammy clickbait, but at a frequency of less than 50 times a day (though Facebook has taken other steps to reduce the spread of fake news in its News Feed).
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