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Facebook introduces changes to fight low-quality health content in News Feed

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In an effort to sanitise Facebook’s News Feed or your timeline, the social media giant is bringing in ranking updates to fight clickbait in health-related content. Spewing rubbish on health issues can be quite common and some of them could be seriously harmful. The two ranking updates implemented by Facebook will ensure that misinformation is reduced in the News Feed.

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Topics including nutrition, fitness and health issues are a common topic of discussion on the social network. People seeking guidance in these areas can be misled with fraudulent content or distracted with useless clickbait articles. Hence, Facebook carried out two ranking updates last month. The first one tried to curb “posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims” while the second tries to reduce “posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims”. In the second-ranking update, any post that promotes products or services on health-related claims will also be flagged.

Facebook further explained that it considers stuff like “miracle cures” to fall under “exaggerated and sensational” content. On the other hand, posts that claim a medication or a pill will help in weight loss, it will be penalised as well. The company said that its approach to health-related misinformation will be the same as it took for clickbait. By being able to identify common phrases used for sensational titles, it will be easier to monitor and flag similar posts on health.

The company also added that there won’t be any “significant” changes to the distribution of posts from Pages with health-related content. According to Facebook, if posts contain sensationalised health claims or promote misleading products and services on health-related issues, such pages will experience reduced distribution. Pages that stop posting such content won’t be affected by this change.

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