Facebook Demoting Engagement Bait

Facebook has announced a new crackdown on  Engagement Baiting.

The demotions will begin this week against posts and pages that engage in spammy posts that actively solicit Facebook users to interact with a post in a specific manner such as liking, posting a specific word or sharing with friends.

The practice is considered a form of spam designed to make a post or page rank higher in Facebook users news feeds.

The purpose of the algorithmic demotions is “to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.” The demotions will happen to both pages and posts that engage in the practice.

Over the coming weeks, Facebook will begin “stricter demotions” against Pages that engage in repeated engagement baiting.

The delay in the stricter demotions is allow admins time to update their posting schedules to avoid inadvertently engaging in engagement baiting.

Facebook encourages Facebook Page admins to read and understand the Facebook Newsfeed Guidelines in order to avoid triggering a demotion.

Will Facebook Target Ordinary Users?

Posts that are legitimate and authentic conversations between Facebook members will not be targeted. According to Facebook:

“Posts that ask people 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 adversely impacted by this update.”

What Kinds of Posts Will Be Demoted?

Facebook is taking action on the following five forms of engagement baiting:

  1. Vote Bait
  2. React Baiting
  3. Share Baiting
  4. Tag Baiting
  5. Comment Baiting

What is Engagement Bait?

Vote Baiting

Vote baiting is soliciting votes by encouraging engagement signals such as reactions, comments, or sharing to represent the votes. This is essentially tricking users to engage with a post or page as a way to express a vote.

React Baiting

This is soliciting Facebook users to react to a post to express how they feel about it.

Share Baiting

Share baiting is a post that solicits friend sharing. Facebook uses an example of a post encouraging users to share with ten friends for a chance to win a new car.

Tag Baiting

Tag baiting is actively soliciting Facebook users to tag their friends in relation to a post.

Comment Baiting

Comment baiting is requesting users to respond with a specific phrase, word, numbers or emoji. Facebook uses the example of a post asking users to comment “Yes” if they enjoy rock music.

How is Facebook Demoting Pages?

Facebook has collected hundreds of thousands of examples of engagement baiting posts and pages in order to train an algorithm to detect the different versions of engagement bait.

The demotions will happen automatically.

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