Facebook steps up to control misleading health content
Facebook initiated measures to control the content on the topic of health, fitness, and nutrition based on false, sensational and misleading claims.
In our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of information in News Feed, Facebook considers ranking changes based on how they affect people, publishers and our community as a whole. We know that people don’t like posts that are sensational or spammy, and misleading health content is particularly bad for our community, said Travish Yeh, a Facebook’s product manager.
So, last month we made two ranking updates to reduce the posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and to reduce the posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims, he added.
For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure.
For the second update, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim — for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.
We handled this in a similar way to how we’ve previously reduced low-quality content like clickbait: by identifying phrases that were commonly used in these posts to predict which posts might include sensational health claims or promotion of products with health-related claims, and then showing these lower in News Feed, he added.
We will continue working to minimize low-quality health content on Facebook.
It is anticipated that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this update.
Posts with sensational health claims or solicitation using health-related claims will have reduced distribution. Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims. If a Page stops posting this content, their posts will no longer be affected by this change.