As the battle against online misinformation continues, Meta has today announced some new features for Facebook Groups, which are designed to help group admins reduce misinformation within their own communities, while also keeping members safe.
First off, Meta’s adding a new option that will enable group admins to automatically reject incoming posts that have been identified as containing false information.
As you can see in this example flow, posts that have previously been identified as including false info, via Meta’s third-party fact-checking network, can now be blocked from being shared within your group, if you so choose.
That could be a big help in reducing the spread of misinformation, with moderators now able to better police such without having to manually weed them out, or do their own fact-checking of claims, which can be time-consuming.
Of course, some Facebook groups will simply ignore it, as they would prefer to decide for themselves what is and is not true. But for those that have concerns, or have had issues in the past, this could be a helpful, impactful update to their moderation process.
In addition to this, Meta’s also expanding the functionality of ‘mute’ within Facebook Groups, and renaming it ‘suspend’:
“…so that admins and moderators can temporarily suspend group members and participants from posting, commenting, reacting, participating in a group chat, and creating or entering a Room in a group”.
Facebook added the option to mute group members back in 2020, as a means to help admins maintain healthy engagement within their communities. But really, even then it was a suspension, effectively, and the renaming of the option will now underline the penalty element, which could help in enforcement.
Meta’s also expanding its groups Admin Assist functionality, which will now be able to automatically approve or decline member requests, based on specific, manually-assigned criteria. Like, for example, whether the prospective member has completed all member questions.
As you can see here, you can now establish a set of automated rules to block incoming member requests, reducing manual workload, and fast-tracking response.
Finally, Meta’s also adding some new community growth tools, with QR codes for Facebook Groups, and a new option to invite people via email to join your group.
The new QR codes were spotted in an initial roll-out last week, and as you can guess, they enable users to join a Facebook group by simply scanning the code via their phone’s camera.
“When scanned, people will be directed to the group’s About page where you can join or request to join.”
The capacity to invite people by email will also enable brands to rapidly build their Facebook communities, by sending invites to their existing customer email lists.
These are some handy updates - none of them revolutionary, as such, but each will help to reduce the workload of group admins, while also limiting shares of misinformation, and providing more ways to promote your groups.
Coupled with Facebook’s growing slate of promotional tools and revenue options for group admins, developments like this continue to facilitate more community engagement. And while Facebook usage, overall, has stalled in some regions, engagement in groups remains strong, and is a key component in the platform’s ongoing success.