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Facebook takes on trashy ads, 'low-quality web page experiences'

Tired of seeing crap content linked out from your Facebook feed? Facebook's doing something about it.

Facebook wants to improve the quality of content linked out from users' News Feeds.
Josh Miller/CNET

We've all seen them: tacky, suggestive, borderline explicit ad images littered across spammy, low-rent, minimally informative websites looking for a few easy clicks on Facebook. On Wednesday, the social media platform announced an offensive.

"Starting today, we're rolling out an update so people see fewer posts and ads in News Feed that link to these low-quality web page experiences," Facebook said in a blog post. "Similar to the work we're already doing to stop misinformation, this update will help reduce the economic incentives of financially-motivated spammers."

Facebook points to policy from last year that already prohibits ads for that sort of low-quality content -- the new efforts are aimed at stepping up enforcement, and will be rolled out gradually over the coming months. It claims it combed through hundreds of thousands of web sites linked to from Facebook in an attempt to identify those with "little substantive content"and a large number of "disruptive, shocking or malicious ads." Facebook used what it learned to develop artificial intelligence that's better at catching that sort of content when it first starts hitting people's News Feeds.

"If we determine a post might link to these types of low-quality web pages, it may show up lower in people's feeds and may not be eligible to be an ad," Facebook says.