New Facebook Algorithm Shows Spam in Top 20 Links

Clicking shared links on Facebook is still not safe.

Facebook Spam Links Featured

Meta tried to put a positive spin on its latest news about Facebook, but it’s still alarming. The “widely-viewed content report” was shared with a new way of calculating which links belong in the top positions, but it really shows that much of its most-read content on Facebook is spam.

Meta Releases Facebook “Widely-Viewed Content Report”

Meta’s release of the 2022 Q1 widely-viewed content report explains that it has changed the way the list of the top 20 links shared on Facebook is calculated.

Previously, this report included all links that were shared on Facebook. However, it was criticized for including links that didn’t show a preview. This gave leverage to Facebook Pages that shared links with hidden spam.

Facebook Spam Links Apps
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“Moving forward, links will need to render a preview in order to be counted as a view, as that more accurately represents what people are seeing,” revealed an accompanying blog post.

Meta set it up by stating, “this report highlights the most-viewed organic content in Feed in the U.S., including domains, links, Pages, and posts. It includes content recommended by Facebook and excludes advertising content.”

Six of the Top Links Were Removed for Spam

Meta helpfully shared the Facebook 2022 Q1 results with both the old and new algorithms, but this revealed worrisome news: six of the top 20 links were removed from Facebook because they were assumed to be spam.

The old algorithm showed the top 20 links, with the number one and three spots going to YouTube links and the second to The 11th and 14th links were blocked on the report “for violating our Inauthentic Behavior policy” with a note that “content with links to this domain can no longer be created on Facebook.”

Facebook Spam Links Website
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Though Meta prefaces the second algorithm by stating it includes links that “ranged from humor, culture, to DIY,” it showed six links that were blocked for “violating our Inauthentic Behavior policy,” including the first and second links.

Meta did acknowledge in the blog post that “the removed links were all from the same domain.” These links were from the Vietnam-based Naye News. It’s not known which links were removed nor what was included in the content. Yet, the links accumulated more than 112 million views combined before the domain was removed.

Facebook Spam Links App
Image Source: Unsplash

Additionally, the link in the fourth spot was a viral YouTube video of a town hall meeting with Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and a nurse who was making claims about COVID treatments. The link was demoted on Facebook after fact-checkers found the claims to be false.

The link in the 15th spot is a website that now redirects to a site that tries to get visitors to download malware. Initially, it showed a meme that read, “They told me the virus is everywhere. I told them so is God. Can I get an Amen? I bet you won’t repost.”

After revealing the spam in the top 20 links, Meta said in the blog post that they’ve “been testing new ways to reduce clickbait, engagement bait, and spam” on Facebook. You can also be more proactive by learning how to spot a phishing email and similar scams on Facebook.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

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