Facebook Announces Huge Changes to Address Problematic Content

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

As the world’s most-used social media platform, Facebook is under significant pressure to control the content that appears on the platform. Facebook implemented several policies over the past few years to prevent the misuse of their services. These efforts ultimately affect legitimate marketers, because Facebook creates new restrictions for content, page management, and advertising. Facebook has outlined new measures that will “remove, reduce and inform” people about problematic content.

Last week, Facebook announced huge changes to the way they will be detecting and handling problematic content. Social media can be used in a large number of ways, and Facebook is adopting a more holistic approach to addressing ways people circumvent the rules. They are also holding Page and Group admins more accountable for the discussion that occurs on their pages.

In an extensive post outlining the changes, Facebook’s Tessa Lyons and Guy Rosen wrote, “Starting in the coming weeks, when reviewing a group to decide whether or not to take it down, we will look at admin and moderator content violations in that group, including member posts they have approved, as a stronger signal that the group violates our standards.”

Facebook also announced a new feature called Group Quality that will be introduced globally in the future. The feature will show an “overview of content removed and flagged for most violations, as well as a section for false news found in the group.” Admins will have a clear view of how and when Facebook enforces the Community Standards.

Facebook is also taking further action on clickbait, misinformation, and fake news. They plan to increase their fact-checking ability by introducing new verification sources and explore options such as letting users point out factual inaccuracies in articles by linking to more credible news sources. The Associated Press (AP) is also being added as fact-checkers.

Marketers should pay attention to these changes. Facebook has already throttled the reach of certain content, and they are going to increase the penalty for pages that continually share content that has been marked as false by independent verifiers. Marketers for health supplements and alternative medicines may need to worry about the quality of the articles they share in the future.

Perhaps the biggest news is the introduction of a new “Click-Gap” measure to further determine if a page should have it’s reach reduced. According to Facebook, “This new signal, Click-Gap, relies on the web graph, a conceptual “map” of the internet in which domains with a lot of inbound and outbound links are at the center of the graph and domains with fewer inbound and outbound links are at the edges.” Facebook will look for domains with “a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph.” Facebook may take this as a sign that “the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.”

This change is huge because it could make it harder for a domain to succeed through Facebook. If people weren’t finding your website through Facebook rather than other sources, you might be at risk for seeing your reach reduced.

There are other changes in the announcement, including a verification badge for Messenger, adding more information to the Page Quality tab, improvements to the Context Button, and more. Businesses may see their Facebook reach change dramatically in the near future, as all of these changes are implemented.

For more recent news about Facebook marketing, read this article on recent Facebook changes to improve ad transparency.

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