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Facebook wants to stop clickbait.( And you won’t believe how they’re doing it)

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Facebook has stepped up its combat against much-reviled( but effective) clickbait headlines in its newsfeed with an algorithm that weeds out the most misleading

Facebook is escalating its war on clickbait headlines by instituting a new system on its newsfeed that will weed out misleading and magnified headlines the same way that email spam filters weed out fantastic offers to help Nigerian princes retrieve their lost fortunes.

The tweaks to the algorithm, announced today in a blog post, will de-prioritize posts with headlines that withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is and headlines that exaggerate the article to generate misleading expectations.

The blog post listed three examples of clickbait headlines: When She Seemed Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS I Was SHOCKED !; He Set Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe; and The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.

The changes mark the second try by the social network to crack down on the much-reviled but nevertheless effective strategies publishers apply to coax readers to click on their content.

In August 2014, Facebook announced changes to its newsfeed that took into account the amount of time people spent on an article, penalizing publishers who utilized the Upworthy-style curiosity gap to garner clicks.

If[ users] click through to a connection and then arrive straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didnt find something they wanted, the company said then.

The new update is based on publishers behavior, rather than the users.

Facebook analyzed tens of thousands of headlines, deeming as clickbait those that intentionally withhold important information and those that use exaggeration to mislead the reader.

Publishers who consistently post content with clickbait headlines will be penalise with lower placement in the newsfeed. If publishers stop using clickbait headlines, they will no longer be negatively impacted by the changes.

Facebooks announcement was instantly the subject of headlines many of them jokingly clickbait-y by the digital publishers that rely on the social media for a significant proportion of their traffic.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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