Facebook Is Trying to Keep News Feed Free of Content Copied From Other Sites

The social network quietly tweaked its algorithm again

If that content isn't yours, it may not do well on News Feed fizkes/iStock

The most recent tweak to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is taking aim at low-quality sites that predominantly copy and republish content from other sites without adding any value.

The social network quietly announced the change in an update to a Newsroom post from May 2017, when it announced that fewer links to low-quality web pages would be included in News Feed.

The update contained a link to Facebook’s updated publisher guidelines, which suggested that legitimate publishers use its Rights Manager to safeguard their intellectual property.

The social network said publishers should answer the following questions before posting content:

  • Did I create all of the content myself?
  • Do I have permission to use all content I didn’t create that’s included in my post?
  • Does my use of the content I didn’t create fall within an exception to copyright infringement?
  • Is the content protected by intellectual property rights (for example, is it a short phrase, idea or public domain work)?

The publisher guidelines also state, “You can only post content to Facebook if it doesn’t violate the intellectual property rights of another party. The best way to help make sure that the content you post to Facebook doesn’t violate copyright law is to only post content that you’ve created yourself. You might also be able to use someone else’s content on Facebook if you’ve gotten permission (for example, a license) from the owner of that content, or if you know that your use is covered by fair use or some other lawful exception to copyright.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.