Facebook removes health groups from recommendations

The latest step is in line with promoting credible health information and removing false claims about COVID-19.

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Facebook on Thursday said it will no longer show health groups in recommendation, adding it’s crucial that people get their health information from authoritative sources.

The update is a part of Facebook’s effort to keep groups safe, by making a number of changes to reduce harmful content and misinformation.

“To prioritize connecting people with accurate health information, we are starting to no longer show health groups in recommendations,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has been under undue pressure from organisation to tackle misinformation on its platforms. The latest step is in line with promoting credible health information and removing false claims about COVID-19.

In the past one year, the company said it has removed about 1.5 million pieces of content in groups for violating policies on organized hate. Additionally, it removed about 12 million pieces of content in groups for violating Facebook’s policies on hate speech.

The California-based company said it limits the spread of group tied to violence by not recommending it. Last month, it had removed about 800 QAnon conspiracy posts for promoting violence and showing intent of using weapons.

Taking on misinformation

As a part of ramping up measures to curb spread of misinformation in groups, Facebook said that it will take an entire group down if it repeatedly breaks rules or if it was set up with the intent to violate the company’s standards. In the last one year, took down more than 1 million groups for violating these policies.

Facebook’s current policy bars the admin of a group from creating similar group to the one removed. In the new update, admins and moderators of groups taken down for policy violations will not be able to create any new groups for a period of time.

Members with community standards violations in a group will require approval for their post for the next 30 days. In case the moderator repeatedly approves posts that violates Facebook’s guidelines, the group will be deleted. To promote groups to have an active admin, Facebook will begin archiving groups that have been without an admin for some time.

When a single remaining admin chooses to step down, they can invite members to become admins. If no invited members accept, Facebook will suggest admin roles to members who may be interested. If no one accepts, it will archive the group.

“To combat misinformation across Facebook, we take a “remove, reduce, inform” approach that leverages a global network of independent fact-checkers,” Facebook said.

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