For all the effort put into fighting the problem, clickbait is still one of the worst elements of Facebook. But the site continues to clamp down on such posts and will now be improving its “integrity of information” by targeting video clickbait.
In a blog post, Facebook explains that it will demote items in the News Feed that feature fake video play buttons embedded into an image or videos containing only a static image.
With the platform’s focus on promoting video, these type of clickbait stories are on the rise. Many users click on fake play buttons assuming it will start the clip; instead, they’re often directed to dubious websites that contain malicious ads.
The static images disguised as videos, which also link to low-quality sites, are used to trick Facebook’s algorithms. The company will start using a “motion scoring” system that detects movement inside a video to classify and demote these clips, according to TechCrunch.
While the social network won’t be completely deleting these posts, they will be downranked, meaning they’re more likely to be buried in the Feed.
“Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease,” Facebook wrote. “Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. But, as always, publishers should refer to our publishing best practices.”
Back in February, Facebook updated its algorithm to prioritize “authentic” content in the News Feed, thereby downgrading fake news posts, clickbait, and other spam. This was followed by another change in May that lowered the chances of users seeing low-quality links.