File Image: (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

CALIFORNIA - Facebook has announced that it will start removing spam or “engagement bait” posts that incite users into taking actions by sharing, tagging, liking, or commenting.

Posts which prompt users to “Tag a friend" seem popular because of Facebook’s algorithms that cause the post to be prioritized in more News Feeds. The company says posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations like raising money for charity or asking for travel advice won’t be affected by the update.

Facebook reviewed and categorised many posts and taught a machine learning model to detect the different types of engagement bait. The company says it will implement stricter demotions for Pages that repeatedly bait engagement in a few weeks to give publishers time to adapt.

“Moving forward, we will continue to find ways to improve and scale our efforts to reduce engagement bait,” Facebook said. “We want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.” Facebook says Pages that repeatedly post engagement bait will see more “significant drops” in reach.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE