Facebook to Stop Recommending Civic and Political Groups

In November, the last U.S. polls were full of fear for potential unrest among the United States of America’s citizens. And the politics each online forum peddled did little to ease the situation. Most online platforms attempted to preach peace through various groups and communities, but even that did not stop members of such civic groups from escalating their online political wars.

One such forum was Facebook. The Mark Zuckerberg-owned platform had several groups that were promoting political unrest in the country. Led by the worry of what the social media bickering trend could culminate into, Zuckerberg disabled some groups that were big on political rumors and fights temporarily.

Initially, the recommendations were to continue after the elections ended, but the management decided to give it a permanent status. Through a phone call, the Facebook CEO expressed that his social media platform will no longer recommend civic and political groups for its subscribers worldwide.

This policy is still in its final stages, especially on how it will work out in the United Kingdom. We can only hope to hear more about its details once they do the finalization.

Facebook Groups

These are pages in the platforms with people sharing common interests. There are over 10M Facebook groups as of 2020. A group is managed by an admin who oversees all the activities plus allows in new members. For example if you love https://betting.com/ games you will be part of one group which will have people of similar interest.

Groups are either public (anyone can view the contents without being a member) or private (one has to be a member to take part in conversations). The groups revolve around different topics and aspects, and most of them are relatively calm. The trend with the U.S. political groups, however, could not be described as peaceful.

Ed Markey, a Democratic Senator, at one time wrote to Facebook asking why they were still recommending political groups to users. According to him, such groups were being used to cultivate hate and were key players in the organization of the January 6, 2020 riots.

Other groups also came forward to push for the limit of algorithmic Facebook groups’ recommendations, citing misinformation and rumors from those groups.

Banning of Groups

Facebook has policies that regulate group activities. Violation of any kind to those codes leads to dismissal or closure of the violating group. That is what happened to the 200,000-member group, QAnon.

QAnon was a group formed by an anonymous person, Q, who boasted of top U.S. government security clearance. Formed in October 2017, the group was mainly the hub of political conspiracy in the United States. For instance, they were peddling rumors of a child trafficking ring within the Democratic Party politicians.

Their massive following believed all the conspiracy theories and could even watch YouTube videos referred to them by their leader Q. All these they did to unravel certain puzzles that Q presented to them.

The Government thinks it was the same group behind the riots that took place outside the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, to refute the November election results, citing irregularities.

The group had drawn a massive following from other social media platforms during its three years of existence. They had a following on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and on TikTok and YouTube. The group never even believed that Coronavirus is real. They thought it was some Government hoax.

Online users have since said the group was removed because it violated set Facebook regulations by misinforming the public, cyberbullying, fueling political unrest, and misleading its members.

Community Groups Sales

Facebook has also in the recent past banned the selling of community groups, terming it an illegal business that goes against the terms of use. There have been incidences of marketers approaching well-established community group owners for the admin rights for money. They usually want the numbers to showcase their products and increase purchases.

Ed Markey, a Democratic Senator, at one time wrote to Facebook asking why they were still recommending political groups to users. According to him, such groups were being used to cultivate hate and were key players in the organization of the January 6, 2020 riots.

Other groups also came forward to push for the limit of algorithmic Facebook groups’ recommendations, citing misinformation and rumors from those groups.

Banning of Groups

Facebook has policies that regulate group activities. Violation of any kind to those codes leads to dismissal or closure of the violating group. That is what happened to the 200,000-member group, QAnon.

QAnon was a group formed by an anonymous person, Q, who boasted of top U.S. government security clearance. Formed in October 2017, the group was mainly the hub of political conspiracy in the United States. For instance, they were peddling rumors of a child trafficking ring within the Democratic Party politicians.

Their massive following believed all the conspiracy theories and could even watch YouTube videos referred to them by their leader Q. All these they did to unravel certain puzzles that Q presented to them.

The Government thinks it was the same group behind the riots that took place outside the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, to refute the November election results, citing irregularities.

The group had drawn a massive following from other social media platforms during its three years of existence. They had a following on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and on TikTok and YouTube. The group never even believed that Coronavirus is real. They thought it was some Government hoax.

Online users have since said the group was removed because it violated set Facebook regulations by misinforming the public, cyberbullying, fueling political unrest, and misleading its members.

Community Groups Sales

Facebook has also in the recent past banned the selling of community groups, terming it an illegal business that goes against the terms of use. There have been incidences of marketers approaching well-established community group owners for the admin rights for money. They usually want the numbers to showcase their products and increase purchases.

Community groups are regional and mostly comprise people in the same locality. Any purchase of such a group will lead to Facebook deactivating the said group upon proof of such transactions.

In the same breath, Facebook does not allow subscribers to sell Ad spaces within the group setting. If found, they will render your group obsolete.

Final Verdict

From where things stand, it is clear that we will no longer be seeing the civic and political group recommendations from Facebook. Hopefully, this will promote peace among members of different political stands and minimize the uncertainties during various countries’ elections.

Let us wait and see how best the policy will be rolled out and implemented across regions.

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