Facebook revealed more tweaks to its processes aimed at preventing the spread of misinformation on the social network and Instagram prior to Tuesday’s election, as well as quelling the influence of conspiracy theory QAnon.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday that civic groups would be removed from Facebook’s groups recommendations, and the social network took it one step further Friday, adding that all new groups would temporarily be filtered out, as well.
Zuckerberg said during the company’s third-quarter-2020 earnings call Thursday evening, “I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country. Given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before.”
In a similar step, Instagram is temporarily removing the Recent tab on its hashtag pages, saying in a tweet, “We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.”
Finally, Facebook will limit distribution of the #SaveOurChildren hashtag due to the phrase becoming associated with QAnon over the past several months.
A spokesperson for the social network said, “Earlier this week, we stepped up how we enforce our rules against QAnon on pages, events and groups. Starting today, we’re limiting the distribution of the ‘save our children’ hashtag, given we’ve found that content tied to it is now associated with QAnon. When people search for it, they will now see credible child safety resources.”