Published On: Thu, Aug 17th, 2017

Facebook downranks video clickbait and feign play buttons

Ever gotten duped into clicking a feign play symbol on Facebook that opens a couple instead of starting a video? we did, repeatedly, and wrote a story in 2014 patrician “Yo Facebook, Ban Links With Fake Video Play Buttons”.

Now Facebook is doing only that. Today it started downranking a News Feed participation of links that arrangement a feign play symbol in a preview image, as good as videos that are indeed only a immobile picture uploaded as a video file. Publishers who use these scammy strategy will see a vital diminution in a placement of these stories. Facebook won’t totally undo these posts, though, unless they violate a other policies.

Here are dual examples of feign play buttons that spammers used to take your clicks:

Facebook has taboo a use of feign play buttons in advertisements underneath a process opposite depicting self-existent functionality for a few years, News Feed Product Manager Greg Marra tells me. But a scourage has remained in a News Feed.

“We’ve listened from people who are undone by feign play buttons” Marra says, hence today’s update. “Spammers are regulating these strategy to pretence people into clicking links to low peculiarity web pages.Facebook tells me a now training a appurtenance prophesy synthetic comprehension to systematise and detect feign play buttons in preview images.

“While a superiority is statistically low, a disappointment voiced by people who use Facebook who confront these fake practices is high” a orator tells me.

Facebook says that if publishers wish to imply there’s a video behind a link, they should prove that by Open Graph meta tags. They could also use difference like “Watch” or “Video” in a title or description.


Fake video play buttons in News Feed couple previews like a one on a left can trick people into clicking out to ad-covered sites as shown on a right.

Facebook has had a identical problem with publishers looping pre-recorded videos and job them live, or only putting adult a mechanism striking countdown and job it Live. TechCrunch called on Facebook to anathema these shenanigans behind in January, and it burst down on them in May.

There’s also been a emanate of publishers putting feign Instant Articles “Lightning Bolt” icons on a preview images of links to non-Instant Articles on a customary web. That’s given people are some-more expected to click Instant Articles given they bucket faster.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s importance on video in News Feed has desirous a new threat of publishers uploading a immobile picture as a video to get some-more eyeballs. These immobile picture videos will be downranked too. Facebook is regulating a “motion scoring” complement that detects transformation inside a video to systematise and lower these clips.

Today’s changes come as partial of a massive, multi-pronged atack on clickbait. Facebook now downranks headlines that are dubious or secrete information in many languages, shows fewer links overshared by spammers, works with outward fact checkers to lower fake news, promotes iand now shows Related Articles with opposite angles to make people questionable of farfetched clickbait.

With any of these updates, Facebook chips divided during a clickbait problem, withdrawal some-more room in a News Feed for legitimate content. Getting burnt by perplexing to watch a video that is only unconstrained mins of a same picture erodes trust in a News Feed, creation people reduction expected to watch videos in a future.

By excising these irritating experiences, users might be peaceful to crop longer, perspective some-more videos from friends and publishers, and watch remunerative video ads that account Facebook’s mountainous profits.

About the Author

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>