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Facebook will start downranking your Groups posts if you break its rules

It’s also got a new moderation tool for admins

Photo by Michele Doying / The Verge

Facebook will start demoting all Groups content from people who have violated its policies elsewhere across the platform. The move is supposed to limit rulebreakers from reaching other people in a community, and it builds on existing policies that prevent them from posting, commenting, or inviting others.

In a blog post, Facebook says it will also add a new “Flagged by Facebook” feature that shows group administrators content that’s been flagged for removal. The admins can choose to remove the content or to ask for a review if they believe it’s appropriate, with the goal of getting administrators involved before Facebook steps in and issues a strike that could affect the group itself.

Facebook has paid increasing attention to groups since the 2020 US presidential election, where they were used to spread false information about voting. It’s also facing increased scrutiny over extremism and other harmful content on the platform thanks to documents leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who recently testified before Congress. Earlier this week, Facebook indicated that it’s also expecting a slew of new stories based on “thousands of pages of leaked documents.”

While the company characterized the upcoming reports as “an orchestrated ‘gotcha’ campaign,” it’s also promoted its efforts to reduce hateful or false content while offering greater transparency around moderation. A September update offered detail about content that it demoted as problematic but didn’t entirely remove, including posts by accounts that had violated its rules in the past.