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Beginning this week, Facebook will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages (profiles of prominent people of businesses) that use slimy tactics to get people to engage with their content, such as using language that says "LIKE this if you were born in August," "SHARE this if you are a millennial," etc.

Why it matters: Facebook is trying to clean up the spam that has gamed its News Feed algorithm.

  • How it works: Facebook will demote these types of spammy posts that bait engagement. To do so, it's assigned teams to review and categorize hundreds of thousands of posts that can better inform a machine learning model to detect when pages post things just for the "like," share or comment.
  • Facebook also says that in the coming weeks it will apply "stricter demotions" in the News Feed for Pages that repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially game the algorithm. The tech giant warns that publishers that use "engagement bait" tactics "should expect their reach on these posts to decrease."
  • Some exceptions include posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, or raising money for a cause.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.