Facebook will now penalize posts begging for likes, shares, and comments

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Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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Continuing its effort to clean up News Feed, Facebook says it will start punishing pages and individual users that ask for likes, shares, comments, votes, and tags—which the company calls “engagement bait.”

Spam-like posts will be downgraded in Facebook’s algorithm, and over time, the company will gather information about repeat offenders, and start demoting entire pages. In a post, Facebook representatives explain that “engagement bait” goes against “one of our key News Feed values—authenticity.” The platform, which has vowed to clamp down on false information, recently decided to punish publishers for directing to bad websites, and for clickbait headlines, which, in fact, it originally helped create.

As Mike Murphy of Quartz points out, in order to really assure quality control, the company would have to police multiple other types of content:

Facebook underlines that posts where people ask for ”help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips” will not be affected.