Once a new Facebook update takes effect, you’ll probably a lot fewer post from that one friend who’s always sharing nonsense clickbait. That’s because Facebook is actually going to start limiting the reach of people who post “vast amounts” of low quality links a day.
Unfortunately, this update only applies to clickbait style links. It won’t limit the friend who posts a photo of their breakfast every morning or the pyramid scheme of the month. The update also won’t affect “pages, videos, photos, check-ins or status updates.”
Facebook claims the move is designed “to help reduce low quality links in News Feed,” adding that they were always working to make sure users see informative and entertaining posts.
The site says their research found “a tiny group of people on Facebook who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day.” The links those people share, the site said, contain poor quality content like sensationalism and clickbait or outright misinformation.
“We want to reduce the influence of these spammers,” Facebook said in a post on their blog, “and deprioritize the links they share more frequently than regular sharers.”
Most publishers, Facebook noted, won’t notice a change from this update. The only ones that will be affected by any noticeable measure are pages that solely rely on clickbait that’s very misleading or false.
This move comes not long after Facebook spoke about their “expanded responsibility” to help give people around the world a voice. With some governments debating whether or not social media access falls under the right of free speech though, the change does raise the question of whether or not censorship is something the social media site should be taking part in.
After all, Facebook has included a feature for years that lets users mute another user without actually unfriending them. So where should the line be drawn? Should it be up to each user to decide who they want to hear from, or should censorship start with Facebook?