Facebook announced a new policy on Thursday that will enable the social media company to eliminate groups of accounts deemed to be participating in “coordinated social harm”.
The current set of rules does not allow the company to fully address these networks of accounts, and Facebook said the change could help the platform fight harmful behaviour more effectively.
Facebook currently has a “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” policy that allows the company to deal with networks of fake accounts participating in harmful behaviour, whereas the new approach focuses on legitimate accounts.
“We are seeing groups that pose a risk of significant social harm, that also engage in violations on our platform,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s Head of Security Policy.
These groups “don’t necessarily rise to the level for either of those where we’d enforce against for inauthenticity under CIB or under our dangerous organizations policy,” he said.
“So this protocol is designed to capture these groups that are sort of in between spaces.”
Facebook used the recent example of a German anti-Covid-19 restrictions group, called the “Querdenken movement”.
In this case, the social media company removed pages associated with the group, which Gleicher accused of instigating violence and distributing health misinformation.
The company added that they hadn’t removed all Querdenken content but will continue to assess the situation and take action should further infringements occur.