Facebook’s Transparency Center has detailed a list of 28 types of offensive posts that see their reach reduced in News Feed.
The often obscure, controversial, and somewhat ambiguous way in which Facebook controls content distribution on News Feed received a bit more clarity last week, with the publication of the platform’s “Content Distribution Guidelines.”
The guidelines detail 28 types of content demoted by Facebook for various reasons that receive reduced distribution on News Feed and, ultimately, less organic reach.
Among others, demoted posts listed in the guidelines include clickbait and posts by repeat policy offenders. To simplify understanding of the guidelines, Facebook has divided the 28 types of demoted posts into three categories:
- Posts disliked by Facebook users who expressed their disappointment in feedback.
- Posts the platform demotes to incentivize creators to invest in higher quality and more accurate content.
- Posts whose visibility the platform reduces to foster a safer community.
Effectively, the process, which relies on machine learning to automatically detect inappropriate content, reduces the reach of the affected posts without the creator knowing it.
Although the guidelines represent Facebook’s first official statement about how it penalizes post reach, the social media giant has yet to detail how much each demoting factor reduces a content’s reach – or rank its penalizing factors by gravity.
However, they provide a clearer sense of what post types are problematic, even though they are not entirely worth removing. “As these guidelines develop, we will continue to provide transparency about how we define and treat problematic or low-quality content,” the post on Facebook’s Transparency Center reads.
Facebook has released these guidelines to begin increasing public disclosure about how News Feed works. They come at a time of scrutiny by media outlets and politicians, who are examining the platform’s adverse effects on the world and trying to establish if the platform’s algorithm favors the spread of misinformation.