Clickbait publishers beware, Facebook is not happy with your cheap clickbait headlines. Mostly this is targeting sites like Taboola and Outbrain who have some of the cheesiest clickbait articles around. Clickbait like: Favorite Movie Stars Aged Terribly, with pictures of some ugly person (photoshopped I’m sure) to make you click the article only to end up having to get bombarded with hundreds of ads. Clicking on each picture takes you to another page and another page and so on. At times these images go on for 50 pages or so, enough to gain site owners with hefty ad dollars from inflated page views. Facebook’s Adam Mosseri went on to say:

“We want publishers to post content that people care about, and we think people care about headlines that are much more straightforward,”

Thursday’s announcement goes a step further. Facebook spent months classifying phrases commonly used in clickbait headlines. Mr. Mosseri offered examples like “The Dog Barked at the Deliveryman and His Reaction Was Priceless,” or “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions and Saw THIS … I Was SHOCKED!”

The company’s algorithms then took note of the websites from which the articles were coming, and could detect patterns of traffic coming from those sites over time. That process was then automated, and content identified as clickbait will now appear lower in the news feed than before. Mr. Mosseri likened the practice to a kind of email spam filtering process.

The move will most likely heighten the anxiety of publishers that rely heavily on Facebook for traffic and often complain about having little insight into the company’s decision-making on how its all-powerful algorithm functions.

So beware publishers, clickbait is getting stripped from Facebook’s news feeds.



By Marcus Crassus

Marcus Licinius Crassus was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

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