Home tech Facebook reveals yet another tired plan to reduce "problematic content"

Facebook reveals yet another tired plan to reduce "problematic content"

Everything is going well this time.
Everything is going well this time.

Image: Niall Carson / Images PA / Getty

Surely, this will be the policy change that solves things.

On April 10, Facebook presented an updated plan to reduce the "problematic content" on the platform, describing in detail in a blog of almost 2,000 words posting its latest and best techniques to keep your social-media life free of misinformation. And although many changes will take place behind the scenes, changes to the way Google's feed ranks content should be immediately alerted to users.

That's right, Facebook is once again perfecting its News Feed algorithm. The objective, according to the company, is to "ensure that people see low quality content in their news feeds". To do this, Facebook will use the so-called Click-Gap signal in an attempt to determine which sites and links are most likely to be of low quality determined by Facebook.

"This new signal, Click-Gap, is based on the web graph, a conceptual" map "of the Internet in which domains with many incoming and outgoing links are at the center of the graph and domains with fewer incoming and outgoing links are edges ", reads the blog post. "Click-Gap looks for domains with a disproportionate number of outgoing Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web chart."

And what does it mean exactly?

"This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that does not reflect the authority they have built outside of it and is producing low quality content," Facebook tells us.

In other words, a site that is doing well on Facebook – but doesn't receive much attention via the larger web – could be ranked lower in the news feed. Interestingly, Facebook considers content to do well on Facebook but not doing well elsewhere a possible sign that it's junk says a lot about the kind of links that Facebook seems structurally designed to encourage and promote.

In essence, if something on Facebook becomes viral, it's a sign that it's rubbish – because it's exactly the kind of content that Facebook was designed to spread. Which, well, we didn't need a 2000 word blog post to tell us.

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