Facebook Groups Now Feature Admins and Organisations via Affiliations Settings Feature

Facebook has recently rolled out the Affiliations feature for its groups, allowing the latter to highlight admins that run them.

Group admins and moderators have become the backbone of Facebook regulation. While the company and its developers definitely deserve some amount of credit for censoring online misinformation and hate speech (especially during the entire COVID-19 pandemic), nailing down occurrences of such destructive behaviour in private groups is rather difficult to manage. Thus, the responsibility often falls upon the responsible admins for the group that go about managing the chaos that comes from having thousands of people sharing a platform.

Facebook itself seems to have recognized how important group admins are, even if those positions are self-appointed by the userbase and not the app itself. The addition of small icons (such as the conversation starter) to profiles went a long way in establishing moderator presence online.

Yet, this came with its flaws. While admins could be found out by searching a group's member list, they were never really on display otherwise. Therefore, a majority of the group would be unaware of the people voluntarily putting in the effort to make their online experience enjoyable.

In lieu of that, a new feature has recently been spotted by Matt Navarra, across Facebook groups, by the name of Affiliations. Affiliations allows admins to be highlighted by name under the cover photo of the group they're responsible for. The process itself is rather simple. Starting from group settings, all an admin had to do is click on "group affiliation", add whatever profiles/organisations they wish, and save their progress. Lo and behold the profile and organisation names will featured for everyone to see and interact with.

Affiliations is a rather smart way of both recognizing and appreciating these free-for-hire moderators that have worked their way to trustworthiness. The public nature with which these names are being featured also holds some practical reasoning behind it. Admins become much easier to contact for members, especially if someone in their group is conducting themselves in a manner that breaks regulations. Instead of going through member lists, all one has to do is look beneath the cover photo and find the names.

Online spaces are constantly under threat of crumbling from safe spaces into hate-mongering rallies. Just recently, Facebook also had a serious amount of issues from extremist group Bajrang Dal being active on its platform. Issues that the platform refused to take action against as well.

The job of admins across groups light-hearted and heavy-handed is not one to be taken lightly. While such public appreciation is nice, this could also make admins more susceptible to hate speech targeted at them. Only time will tell how this new feature plans out.

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