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Facebook News Feed tweak: See less ads, obscene content and more information links

In an effort to enhance the user experience, Facebook has rolled out an update that reduces the posts on News Feed linking to low-quality web pages.

tech Updated: May 11, 2017 13:35 IST
HT Correspondent
In an effort to enhance the user experience, Facebook has rolled out an update that reduces the posts on News Feed linking to low-quality web pages.
In an effort to enhance the user experience, Facebook has rolled out an update that reduces the posts on News Feed linking to low-quality web pages. (Shutterstock)

Facebook has tweaked the algorithm of its News Feed to reduce visibility of sites or pages that offer what the company calls “low-quality” experience.

According to the company, a low-quality site may include little substantive content but more of disruptive content or malicious ads.

The social network said the tweaks to the algorithm are part of its ongoing efforts to fight misinformation and misleading advertising. It has made a number of changes to the news-feed over the past year aimed at both news publishers and advertisers who don’t meet its standards.

In a recent essay, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about how he wants the social network to help in the creation of what he called “informed communities.”

, the company said it has heard from users that “they are disappointed when they click on a link that leads to a web page containing little substantive content, and that is covered in disruptive, shocking, or malicious ads.”

In a blog post, the company said it has heard from users that “they are disappointed when they click on a link that leads to a web page containing little substantive content, and that is covered in disruptive, shocking, or malicious ads.”

Nevertheless, the update means that News Feed will contain fewer of these kinds of posts, Facebook said. However, the company didn’t give a lot of detail on what it considers to be “substantive content,” or how that term will be defined by the algorithm.

Earlier this year, Facebook made tweaks to the algorithm that it said were designed to promote “authentic” content. But it didn’t give many details about what that consisted of either, except to say that the algorithm had been trained to recognize it.

Based on the description of what it is targeting, it looks like the network is aiming at sites that consist primarily of clickbait articles and ads like “Six Tips to be Amazing in Bed.” Reducing their visibility will make it harder for them to monetize their traffic, the company said.

In a blog post aimed at publishers, the social network warned that they should be careful not to have a “disproportionate volume of ads related to content” on their pages.

As with many algorithm updates, it’s not clear how many of these kinds of ads a page has to use or display before it is defined as offering a low-quality experience.

In a blog post aimed at publishers, the social network warned that they should be careful not to have a “disproportionate volume of ads related to content” on their pages.

It also warned that those who use sexually suggestive ads could be impacted, and those who use pop-up ads and interstitials, which take over a user’s screen while a page is loading.