Facebook to censor groups that violate community standards


Facebook said Thursday that it would limit more Facebook groups to crack down on misinformation and repeat offenders of its community standards.

Over the last year, Facebook has taken down more than 1 million groups for violating its community standards, which include policies against individuals and organizations involved in organized hate, organized violence or criminal activity, or hate speech.

Facebook has also taken down 1.5 million pieces of content in groups for violating its policies against organized hate and removed about 12 million pieces of hate speech content over the last year.

Among the changes, administrators and moderators of groups taken down for violating these standards will not be able to create any new group for a period of time. Previously, the recidivism policy only stopped admins from creating another group similar to the one removed.

Group members who have violated Facebook’s community standards will also now require approval for the next 30 days, stopping posts from being seen until approved by an admin or moderator. Furthermore, the entire group will be removed if they repeatedly approve posts that violate policies.

Facebook will also begin in the coming weeks archiving groups without an admin for some time.

The social media company has also made efforts to combat misinformation.

Users of Facebook have used closed groups to spread misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 in the past. On Thursday, Facebook announced it’s removing health groups from its recommendations.

“It’s crucial that people get their health information from authoritative sources,” Facebook Vice President of Engineering Tom Alison said in a statement. “To prioritize connecting people with accurate health information, we are starting to no longer show health groups in recommendations.”

To limit organized hate, Facebook added that it has already banned a violent U.S. anti-government network connected to the far-right Boogaloo movement and removed 106 of their groups. It also expanded its policy last month to include organizations and groups that pose a threat to public safety, such as QAnon, U.S.-based militia and anarchist groups that support violent acts amid protests.

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