Facebook to “punish” harmful Groups that violate its Community Standards
The company will also act against users who keep violating the company’s Community Standards. They will find themselves unable to post in a group, comment on other’s posts, start new groups or invite users to join a new group.
Facebook Groups are home to some of the platform's most popular groups that allow users to meet like-minded people for various purposes like self-improvement, or discussions on technology and current affairs. However, the platform is also home to harmful groups that promote disinformation, hate and violence, which has led to the company making some changes to how it enforces its Community Standards for groups.
On Wednesday, the company announced that it was cracking down on groups that had repeatedly violated the Facebook Community Standards while making it tough to discover certain kinds of groups, in a post explaining the changes on its blog. The company has said it would “reduce privileges” for those who broke the rules, in the ways described below.
The company explains that it will warn users about a group that has repeatedly violated the Facebook Community Standards, if they attempt to join it. “This Group has allowed posts that violate our Community Standards,” the pop-up message explains, asking users to “review” the group and then choose from two options - Review Group and Join Group Anyway.
As part of the new crackdown, users who keep violating the company's Community Standards will find they are unable to post in a group, comment on other's posts, start new groups or invite users to join a new group. The decision of the social network to hold individual members responsible is a noteworthy one, considering how most fake news is spread by individual users in offending groups.
Meanwhile, any group that has a large number of members violating the Community Standards will trigger a setting forcing the moderators and owners of the group to approve all the posts that are appearing on the group. These moderators will have to monitor the group for problematic content, or else Facebook will simply take the groups down. Facebook says these new changes will go into affect across several countries in the coming months.