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Like baiting is a practice on the dominant Facebook social media platform where users post items that contain requests to “like” content. Users can also include requests to share or otherwise promote the content. Like baiting posts may be in the form of simple text, or they may contain images and videos with suggestions or recommendations inside them.
The idea behind like baiting is that the posts will get better distribution and more prominence on Facebook as people respond to the requests. Many of these types of posts look like chain letters — there is an emotional appeal to others to “pass it along” or otherwise promote the content.
Social media engineers have recognized that as these types of posts tend to get more promotion and publicity, they tend to drown out other more organic content, such as simple image and text posts that users intend for their friends and family to see. By contrast, a lot of like baiting posts are generic or syndicated. They start with one person, and keep getting passed along and promoted in Facebook until they start to resemble the kinds of spam that show up in people’s personal email accounts. One way to think about like baiting is as a "viral phenomenon" that illustrates the possibilities and limits of what people can do on social media. Facebook appears to be creating algorithms to crack down on like baiting in order to make people’s profile experiences cleaner and more enjoyable.