Facebook gives Group admins new tools to block misinformation

Admins can automatically reject posts that have been debunked by fact checkers.

Dado Ruvic / reuters

Facebook is once again trying to stem the flow of misinformation within Groups. The social network is giving group admins new tools to help prevent misleading information from spreading.

With the update, group admins will be able to “automatically decline” posts that have been determined to be false or misleading by Facebook’s third-party fact checkers. Admins who want to take an even tougher stance can use the feature to decline the post and block or suspend the user from future posts in the group.

Facebook has struggled to control misinformation and other problematic content in Groups for years. Though the company has imposed stricter penalties for Groups that repeatedly break its rules, Groups have been breeding grounds for election and COVID-19 misinformation.

Group admins can automatically reject posts that have been debunked by fact checkers.

Still, the feature could considerably reduce the number of false claims being passed around in Groups, though it’s up to admins to enable it. It’s also not retroactive, so posts that are shared and then later debunked by fact-checkers will still be visible unless an admin or moderator opts to remove the post.

Facebook is also automating other aspects of managing Groups, including how requests by prospective members are handled. Admins will have the option to automatically decline or approve new members based on criteria like the age of their Facebook account and if they have friends already in the group.