Given that the Facebook algorithm tilts to prioritize video, many spammers have attempted to game the system — and drum up views — by posting images with fake video ‘play’ buttons or videos of a static image, many of which contain ads.
Now, Facebook is taking action to quell this behavior in order “to fight clickbait and improve the integrity of information on Facebook,” engineers Baraa Hamodi, Zahir Bokhari, and Yun Zhang wrote in a company blog post. As a result, the social network says, in coming weeks its algorithms will demote stories that feature fake ‘play’ buttons or images disguised as videos in users’ News Feeds. “Authentic communication is one of our core News Feed values,” according to the company, “and we know our community values it.”
Facebook said that the changes shouldn’t effect most Pages on the platform — only those that rely on intentionally deceptive practices.