After battling issues with fake news, Facebook has come out with a new feature called Community Action. It allows users to start a petition about a problem in their neighborhood, and tag necessary state representatives and bureaucrats.
While users are positive about this feature, some experts raise concerns over unwanted demands and bully pulpits to pressure governments.
Pros and Cons of the Feature
The new feature allows a user to create a petition on their news feed. One can provide a title, description, add an image, and tag relevant state representatives and bureaucrats. However, users cannot tag President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. People can click on the support button and voice their support for the issue. Facebook shows the number of supporters for an issue, but only displays the names of those who are friends with you. Furthermore, it allows people to enter into a discussion on the issue.
Several examples of community actions are available today. It allow people to support a cause with just a click. This ease in voicing support for a cause can allow organizations and notorious elements take undue advantage of this feature.
At the same time, the options to oppose an issue is also limited. For a user to oppose an issue, they have to either first support and add a comment against the cause or share it. This can create confusion, and people might troll users opposing a cause.
Facebook is using algorithms, user flagging, and human support to detect to ensure safety and censorship. Currently, the social media platform is studying user patterns, and will update the feature depending on the behavioral patterns.