Facebook announces some new policies for groups to stop propaganda and violence

Facebook has recently tightened reigns on some groups that are related to health services and violence. The company has updated and made some amends in the policies revolving around groups without admins too.

First of all, Facebook is restricting various health groups from appearing in users’ recommendations. The company has announced in a blog post that these health groups on Facebook are not authoritative sources and people should only take health advice from proper health authorities. This is also important because many of these health-related groups are responsible for spreading misinformation and propaganda about different medical problems. Random people post random remedies for various ailments and gullible users foolishly follow them. This phenomenon was greatly observed amidst the coronavirus pandemic when Facebook had to remove different groups and Pages because of their falsifying and truth altering content that misled a lot of people about the novel coronavirus.

Just like health groups, Facebook is taking a stricter approach by limiting the groups that are associated with violence. This action was prompted by an unfortunate incident involving a militia group in Wisconsin. The members of this group used Facebook to organize an event and it turned out to be a violent meeting in which two people got killed. So, after this incident, Facebook has decided to limit these groups, remove them from appearing in recommendations, stop them from appearing in search results, and overall reduce the number of times the content of these groups appears in the News Feed of users. However, Facebook could simply remove these groups and cease their existence altogether! But it is alright as long as Facebook is taking some group moderation steps.

Facebook had claimed to have removed the pages related to this unfortunate event, however, it turned out that it was not Facebook that had taken those pages down; instead, it was one of the admins of the group who removed those pages. Facebook had to admit it later that it had never taken down the event or pages related to it.

This incident probably made Facebook realize the importance of admins for the management of groups on the platform. So, Facebook’s new policy revolves around admins. If any admin wants to step down, they must appoint someone amongst the active members of the group to take the post, because, as per the new policies, if a group remains admin-less, Facebook will archive it straight away. When Facebook removes these groups, their moderators will not be able to create any new groups for an unspecified and indefinite period.

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