Facebook targets 'spammers' sharing 'clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation' in move that could affect some publishers

Facebook is taking steps to reduce the influence of “spammers” who share “clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation” in its News Feed section.

In a blog post, the social network said its own research had revealed a “tiny group of people on Facebook who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds”.

It said the links shared by the spammers tended to include “low quality content” and that it aimed to “deprioritise” these links, meaning they would appear lower down the News Feed compared with other content.

Vice President of Facebook’s News Feed, Adam Mosseri, said: “By taking steps like this to improve News Feed, we’re able to surface more stories that people find informative and reduce the spread of problematic links such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation.”

He said most publishers would not see any “significant changes to their distribution in News Feed”, but added: “Publishers that get meaningful distribution from people who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day may see a reduction in the distribution of those specific links”.

Facebook said publishers should “continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their readers find informative” to avoid falling foul of its algorithm.

Picture: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration