Ever gotten tricked into clicking a fake play button on Facebook that opens a link instead of starting a video? I did, repeatedly, and wrote a story in 2014 titled “Yo Facebook, Ban Links With Fake Video Play Buttons”.
Now Facebook is doing just that. Today it started downranking the News Feed presence of links that display a fake play button in the preview image, as well as videos that are actually just a static image uploaded as a video file. Publishers who use these scammy tactics will see a major decrease in the distribution of these stories. Facebook won’t completely delete these posts, though, unless they violate its other policies.
Here are two examples of fake play buttons that spammers used to steal your clicks:
Facebook has prohibited the use of fake play buttons in…