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Facebook cracks down on 'like this if' bait in your news feed

Breathe a sigh of relief as we say goodbye to one type of spammy post on Facebook.

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Be gone, engagement spam.

Facebook

"Share this for a chance to win a month's supply of detergent!"

We've probably all got at least one Facebook friend who pushes posts like this into our news feeds. And we've all rolled our eyes -- or possibly hit the mute button if the friend is a repeat offender.

Such problems should soon be a thing of the past because Facebook is starting to penalize posts that use what it calls "engagement bait" -- the request that people like, share and comment to increase a post's reach.

Starting this week, Facebook will demote posts and pages that dabble with these tactics, coming down particularly hard on repeat offenders, the social network said Monday in a blog post.

It clarified that posts asking for help, advice or recommendations will not be adversely impacted by the update.

By targeting this type of spam, Facebook hopes to increase the "authenticity" of posts that appear in people's news feeds. It is the next step up from tackling click-bait articles, the social network said.

To help people avoid publishing engagement bait, Facebook has updated its News Feed Publisher guidelines with more information, including examples and an in-depth FAQ section.