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Is Facebook Cracking Down on Clickbait? Find Out Here!

Social media giant alters News Feed algorithm, targeting headline language meant to dupe users into clicking

Facebook will update its algorithm to reduce posts considered “clickbait,” freeing up users’ news feeds to display more of the stories they want to see.

Company research scientist Alex Peysakhovich and user experience researcher Kristen Hendrix penned a blog post on Thursday that outlines the changes.

“We’ve heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles. These are headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer,” they wrote.

The last update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm helped reduce clickbait, according to Peysakhovich and Hendrix, but the social media giant is still seeing it too often. It will now use a system that identifies commonly used phrases in clickbait headlines. If a headline withholds information or creates misleading expectations, it is considered clickbait. The system for identifying clickbait is similar to email spam filters, according to the blog post.

“Our system identifies posts that are clickbait and which web domains and pages these posts come from. Links posted from or shared from pages or domains that consistently post clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed. News Feed will continue to learn over time — if a page stops posting clickbait headlines, their posts will stop being impacted by this change,” Facebook researchers said.

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