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Facebook to Penalise Low-Quality Spammy Links with the Help of AI

A week ago, Facebook announced an upgrade to its news feed algorithm. Any web pages that this algorithm points out as spam or considers to be of low quality will be penalised going further.

Facebook wants to limit the reach of any organic posts that contain low-quality links. It will also block any advertisements that link to the pages that are qualified as spam to any degree by the algorithm mentioned earlier.

The new update will run across all ads appearing on Facebook, its organic posts, ad networks, and Instagram. However, the organic posts on Instagram are safe from this scrutiny for now. The reason behind the decision to not roll out the update for Instagram’s organic content could be that only approved accounts are allowed to pin links to such posts over there. Clearly, the chances of mass spamming from a validated account are minuscule.

The target of this no-nonsense upgrade seems to be such pages where original content is immensely outnumbered by advertisements, no-permission-requiring video ads, and pop-ups with irrelevant content(think yeast solution for quick weight loss.)

Greg Marra, a product manager at Facebook, throws some light on how the company plan to weed out the low-quality pages from the authentic ones.

Apparently, Facebook employed people to review hundreds of thousands of its pages, picking out the ones carrying a substantial number of malicious, disruptive, advertisements as opposed to meaningful content. These results were fed to the AI algorithm to support machine learning. As the AI learned to recognise and identify spam pages based on these patterns, it has now become able to go through pages and pick the ones with low-level content on its own.

Marra explains the impossibility of manually describing every single marker that the algorithm looks for(since an AI learns from a pattern and then keeps learning with every new development.) He, however, talks about a few aspects that Facebook page owners could keep in mind going further.

A good quantity of original content, the level of accessibility to good content(too many pop-ups blocking the entrance?), the quality and relevance of those pop-ups and other advertisements on the page are a few of the markers that the AI will scan for.

While Facebook will continue its behind-the-curtain movement for fishing out spammy pages, there will be no tools for the page owners to rate their work. A decrease in referral traffic will be the only way to figure out that they are being targeted for low-quality content.

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