As Facebook’s userbase grows to rival that of the world’s most populated countries, the company is taking steps to combat fake news, clickbait, and misleading headlines.
The company has now announced that it will be continuing its mission against fake news, by addressing clickbait at the individual post level and the individual page level.
Facebook plans on curating posts and pages based on the information they provide to users.
“We will now look at whether a headline withholds information or if it exaggerates information separately,” reads an excerpt from a Facebook media release.
Headlines that withhold information are those that encourage clicking through to a separate page based on information that might be present elsewhere.
An example of a headline that withholds information would be something like, “You won’t believe what this man did to save money at the grocery store.”
As for headlines that exaggerate information? “WOW! Drinking water everyday will change your life. You have to read this study.”
According to the media release, Facebook is using actual humans — not bots or algorithms — to comb through “thousands of headlines…validating each other’s work to identify large sets of clickbait headlines.”
“From there, we identify what phrases are commonly used in clickbait headlines that are not used in other headlines,” reads an excerpt from the same release. “This is similar to how many email spam filters work.”
This isn’t the first time that Facebook’s tried to fight clickbait and fake news.
In August 2016, Facebook updated its News Feed ranking algorithm in an attempt to more accurately deliver posts that the company’s users find important.
Then, in January 2017, Facebook changed its ‘Trending’ section in an attempt to combat fake stories trending on its service, in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Regardless of whether the social network’s latest attempts to fight fake news actually succeeds, what’s clear is that media companies like Facebook are taking action against something that they clearly perceive is a problem.