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Facebook says it will put groups on probation for violating its content rules

Facebook says it will put groups on probation for violating its content rules


The platform is trying to slow the spread of election misinformation among other things

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In yet another attempt to slow the spread of misinformation on its platform, Facebook plans to put groups on its platform with too many posts that violate its content rules on a kind of probation, the company said. First reported by The Washington Post, Facebook will restrict any groups— both public and private ones— with multiple posts violating its community standards. Moderators for the groups will have to approve any posts manually for 60 days, and there’s no appeal available for groups on probationary status.

“We are temporarily requiring admins and moderators of some political and social groups in the US to approve all posts, if their group has a number of Community Standards violations from members,” Facebook spokesperson Leonard Lam said in a statement emailed to The Verge, “a measure we’re taking in order to protect people during this unprecedented time.”

Admins will be notified of their group’s status and told when the restrictions will be lifted. During the probationary period, Facebook will keep tabs on how the moderators of restricted groups deal with posts; if they continue to allow posts that break its rules, Facebook may shut down the groups entirely.

Earlier this week, Facebook shut down the Stop the Steal group — which had more than 300,000 members— that had posted election misinformation about vote-rigging, and which falsely claimed Democrats were trying to steal the election. The social media platform has taken several steps to try to stem the tide of election misinformation; Facebook currently has a ban on US-based political ads in place, and had specifically barred ads that falsely claimed victory.

Major news outlets on Saturday called the election for Joe Biden, with Pennsylvania and Nevada pushing the former vice president over the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory. As of this writing, President Trump has yet to concede.