Facebook today announced it is (again) stepping up fight against spammers by making certain changes to cut down on the number of posts in the News Feed which file as deliberate hoaxes or misleading news stories.
These include click-bait headlines such as “Man sees dinosaur on hike in Utah” and scams offering users, say, a chance to “win a lifetime supply of coffee,” if only you’d be so kind as to follow the link, please.
Facebook found that people are two times more likely to delete these types of posts after receiving a comment from a friend warning them they were duped.
To reduce the number of hoaxes in the News Feed, Facebook now takes into account when many people flag a post as false, and also when many people choose to delete posts, indicating the story is probably false.
As a result, a post with a link to an article that many people have reported as a hoax, or chosen to delete, will get reduced distribution in News Feed.
“This update will apply to posts including links, photos, videos and status updates,” explained the firm, adding that posts that receive lots of reports will be “annotated with a message warning people that many others on Facebook have reported it.”
So to be clear, Facebook is not removing stories others report as false nor is it reviewing any such submission. What they’re doing is flagging hoax stories to warn others while reducing their frequency in the News Feed.
As for those viral stories, satirical posts, humorous content or content that is clearly labeled as satire, don’t you worry because such posts won’t be affected by today’s update to the News Feed algorithm.