Years ago, a major virus attack called the “Storm Worm” sent fake news alerts out for a once in a century superstorm experienced in Europe.  It was designed to bait users into clicking on the links to infect their systems.  These same attacks have continued in many other malware attacks. Facebook has recently improved algorigtms for their news feed facilities to reduce these attacks.

Facebook is making a significant change to its News Feed ranking algorithm to try to stomp out “clickbait” headlines. The company says it’s only targeting the most egregious examples, which intentionally leave out crucial information or mislead people, like “You’ll never believe who tripped and fell on the Red Carpet…” or “Apples are actually bad for you!?” or “When Facebook made THIS huge change… Publishers were SHOCKED!”

The company has  made smaller  tweaks over the last year to combat clickbait, but Facebook’s VP of product management Adam Mosseri tells Business Insider that this is the most dramatic change that it has launched since  its initial efforts in 2014. To figure out what was clickbait and what wasn’t, a Facebook team categorized tens of thousands of real headlines by looking at whether they purposely withheld information or distorted or exaggerated the truth. The resulting dataset was then used to train a classifier algorithm that gives any headline posted on Facebook a “clickbait” score based on patterns.

If that algorithm identifies that a high percentage of links that a Page posts or shares rank high on the “clickbait” scale, all links from that Page will appear lower in News Feed. In short, Facebook will decimate that Page’s reach and referral traffic. “We’re trying to change the incentives, to give publishers a reason to create headlines that are more straightforward,” he says. “We think that’s going to be a better experience for people, because that’s what we hear from people.”