We all know by now that Facebook updates elements of the site on a regular basis in order to keep things as user-friendly and high quality as possible – which is great for us to the end users.
The latest update is designed to reduce spam in your newsfeed and around the site - including things like low-quality web page links.
What does Facebook say?
In regards to the update, Facebook says:
“We want to help people build an informed community on Facebook. That’s why we’re always working to understand which posts people consider misleading, sensational and spammy so we can show fewer of those and show more informative posts instead.”
Essentially, they’re reducing the irrelevant, poor quality content to create a more informative, accurate and engaging feed for Facebook users. Sounds great!
Why the change?
Aside from the obvious (no one wants junk links in their feed), Facebook reports that many users had expressed disappointment upon clicking links that appeared in their newsfeed, after finding the content to be not what they expected.
What does the update include?
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Facebook already has a policy in place (introduced in 2016) that prevents low-quality advertisers from advertising on Facebook. That was a great start, and a step in the right direction.
To expand on that, Facebook has now reviewed hundreds of thousands of web pages that have been linked to via Facebook, in order to identify any that contain low quality or little substantive content – as well as those that contain ‘disruptive, shocking or malicious’ ads.
Using artificial intelligence, Facebook could then identify whether new links that have been shared have similar characteristics to the ones that were identified.
If the system recognises that a new link may be of low quality, it will show up lower in users’ newsfeeds and may be ineligible to become an ad.
With this update, Facebook can ensure that low-quality links are being stopped in their tracks so users can see less of them on the site.
What else is Facebook doing to stop misinformation?
Facebook is also working to target the ‘fake news’ trend, which is also an issue on the site. As well as simply being low quality, many of these links provide content that seems to be true but is actually not true at all – causing disruption and harm to authentic news reports.
As Facebook users, we can all appreciate how the staff at Facebook are working hard to create a better environment for us to use and look forward to seeing much less spam in our feeds.