Facebook released a tool on Thursday that allows group administrators to automatically weed out assertions that have been refuted after they were made.
Prior to the US midterm elections and as Facebook-parent Meta continues to fend off critics who claim it doesn’t do enough to battle disinformation on its services, group admins now have the opportunity to submit false information to a “quarantine queue.”
According to Facebook, the tool enables administrators of groups to immediately move both fresh posts that have been flagged as containing misleading material and earlier posts that contained claims that have since been proven wrong into quarantine.
“Group admins can automatically transfer posts containing material assessed as false by third-party fact-checkers to pending postings so that the admins can evaluate the posts before deleting them,” said Tom Alison, head of Facebook. “This helps ensure content is more credible for the broader community.”
In an effort to target a section of the vast network that has raised special concern from disinformation watchdogs, Facebook started allowing groups in March to automatically reject new posts tagged as containing misleading material.
Facebook Groups, which enable members to congregate around subjects ranging from parenting to politics, are used by more than 1.8 billion people each month.
However, detractors claim that because the groups occasionally attract sizable crowds of people who share their opinions and are gathered around a certain subject, they are ripe for the dissemination of incorrect or misleading information.
The misinformation sifting tool was one of the improvements made to help administrators manage groups more easily.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, wrote in a post that “over 100 million new group memberships per day on Facebook — which is kind of astounding” and pledged to continue developing new tools for “ever deeper relationships around common interests.”
According to Alison, Meta’s vision of the future, in which online activity takes place in virtual environments known as the metaverse, includes the evolution of groups.
At the conference, Alison stated that “technology is changing at a rapid pace.”
More specifically, we’re developing it and funding the research and development of things that will make the metaverse a reality.