Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday announced that his company would no longer recommend civic and political groups to users on the platform.
The social media company in October 2020 said it temporarily halted recommendations of political groups for users in the United States run-up to the presidential election and on Wednesday, Facebook said it would be making this permanent and would expand the policy globally.
On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Ed Markey wrote to Zuckerberg asking for an explanation of reports that Facebook had failed to stop recommending political groups on its platform.
He called Facebook’s groups “breeding groups for hate” and noted they had been venues of planning for the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
Facebook groups are communities that form around shared interests. Public groups can be seen, searched and joined by anyone on Facebook.
Several watchdog and advocacy groups have pushed for Facebook to limit algorithmic group recommendations. They have argued that some Facebook Groups have been used as spaces to spread misinformation and organize extremist activity.
Zuckerberg also said that Facebook was considering steps to reduce the amount of political content in users’ news feeds.