People who post 50-plus times per day are likely sharing spam or false news, Facebook says.
Facebook has a new way of identifying false news and spam in users’ feeds, and it’s changing its News Feed algorithm again to try and remove that content from view.
Facebook claims that users who post a lot — meaning 50-plus times per day — are very often sharing posts that the company considers to be spam or false news. So now Facebook is going to identify the links that these super-posters share, and cut down on their distribution on the network.
That means the links shared by users who incessantly post won’t get the kind of reach they used to, even if they’re shared by a reputable Page. These users sound like they could be bots, but Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP in charge of News Feed, says the company is confident they are real people.
Facebook isn’t actually looking at the content from these links, Mosseri added. The correlation between these types of users and spammy/false content is strong enough that Facebook doesn’t have to.
“Those links [are] way disproportionately problematic. They’re very often either click-bait or sensationalism or false news,” Mosseri said. “It’s one of the strongest signals we’ve ever found for identifying a broad range of problematic content.”
This update is one of many changes Facebook has made in the past six months to try and cut down on false news content in News Feed. Fighting so called “fake news” has been a major priority for Facebook since the election, and many believe false news on Facebook helped play a part in the outcome. (Facebook has even hinted this might be the case.)
Because Facebook plays around with its algorithm all the time it is sometimes easy to overlook the changes, but they can have a significant impact. Facebook is where millions of Americans, and other around the world, get their news, and many publishers rely on Facebook for distribution.
This change shouldn’t really impact publishers, though, Mosseri says. Facebook is only looking at links shared by individuals who post 50-plus times per day, not Pages that post that often. A Page should only see a dip in traffic if it shares stories that these super-posters are also sharing.
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Author: Kurt Wagner
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