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Facebook Fights Against Like-Baiters, Spam to Keep Social Network Pure

by Todd Haselton | April 11, 2014April 11, 2014 2:00 am PST


Facebook is again tweaking its algorithms to make sure that spammy Facebook status updates aren’t getting attention they don’t deserve. The social network announced on Thursday a new initiative to help it clean up news feed spam — the kind of chunk that floats past your eyeballs when you’re really just trying to see photos and updates from your friends, and news outlets you trust.

“Many of these stories are published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would,” Facebook software engineer Erich Owens and product manager Chris Turitzin said. “Our update targets three broad categories of this type of spam behavior.”

The three types of Facebook status updates that will be affected include those that try to “Like-bait,” or those that encourage people to like a post, frequently circulated content and spammy links. Like-bait is defined as Facebook status updates that specifically come out and ask you, the Facebook user, to like, share or comment on a post. Frequently circulated content includes “instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again.” Finally, spammy links include “inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads.” The social network hopes that these changes actually encourage more clicking and sharing of original content.

“The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam so should not be negatively impacted by these changes, and, if anything, may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution,” the social network explained. There’s always another way to increase the interaction with your Facebook status updates: by paying the company to circulate them for you. Obviously the social network wants more cash in its wallet, fewer spammy Facebook status updates and, ultimately, more original content.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...