Facebook Pages and websites that frequently withhold, exaggerate or distort information in their link headlines will disappear from News Feed thanks to a new anti-clickbait algorithm that’s now rolling out, reports techcrunch.com.
Facebook manually classified tens of thousands of headlines with a clickbaitiness score to train the new algorithm. Now it can detect headlines like “When She Looked Under Her Couch And Saw THIS… I Was SHOCKED!”; “He Put Garlic In His Shoes And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe”; or “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”
Rather than just assigning a binary “Yes, clickbait” or “not clickbait,” each story gets a score about how egregious it is. The algorithm primarily looks for phrases often used in clickbait headlines but not in legitimate headlines, similar to email spam filters.
The higher the clickbait likelihood, the more the algorithm punishes the entire Page that shared them or site they link to by making all their posts or referral links less visible. “If you post 50 times a day and post one piece a clickbait, this shouldn’t affect you. If you’re a spammer and post clickbait all day, this should affect you a lot,” Facebook’s VP of Product Management on News Feed, Adam Mosseri, tells me.
Luckily, if a publisher reforms its ways and “they stop posting clickbait, their referral traffic will bounce back,” Mosseri explains. And since the algorithm identifies offenders on both the web domain level and the Facebook Page level, spammers can’t build a Page and then just launch new websites with different URLs to elude punishment.