When people talk about Facebook’s problem with fake news and spammy content, what they’re really discussing is the site’s News Feed algorithm. After all, that’s what allows these malicious posts to reach users in the first place. So, it was big news this week when the social media giant announced it will roll out a news feed update to bury “low-quality” links.
According to Facebook, the site looked at hundreds of thousands of web pages to find common characteristics for low-quality pages, and then trained its artificial intelligence to find similar content.
“We hear from our community that they’re disappointed when they click on a link that leads to a web page containing little substantive content and that is covered in disruptive, shocking or malicious ads,” Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the change. “People expect their experience after clicking on a post to be straightforward.”
Facebook also recently warned publishers not to feature a “disproportionate volume of ads related to content,” and also not to use sexually suggestive ads, interstitials or pop-ups. The site also introduced changes to its policies last year to go after publishers that relied on spammy ads, so these new rules aim to accomplish more of the same.
Cybercriminals and disreputable publishers always seem to find a way around these rules to take advantage of users, but it’s good to know that Facebook is striving to protect us.