Facebook has published a new document that aims to guide its online communities on how to talk about social and racial issues. The guidance comes amid increased drama in a number of Facebook groups, with users getting into arguments, moderators and Page admins being accused of censorship, and more. Whether Facebook’s input will actually have any sort of impact on these discussions is yet to be seen.
Protests are taking place in many regions around the world with reasons including pushback against oppressive regimes, police brutality, and racial inequality. These protests are a hot topic on social media where they’re often lambasted by trolls trying to stir up drama, as well as various volatile or ignorant users who may unintentionally ignite vicious online arguments.
It’s impossible to miss these hostile conversations if you’re on Facebook, but the company is hoping to change this. On Friday, Facebook published a new blog post with suggestions on how its users and groups can navigate these discussions without making things worse.
The advice is fairly straightforward — Facebook recommends that its users do things like educating themselves and any team members on the topic before engaging, make rules about allowed topics clear, and making public posts in communities that address the issue at hand with details about how it will be approached within the group.
As well, Facebook suggests that communities add representatives of the impacted group to their moderation team and listen to what the members of the group want to talk about. There are some compromises that can be made to keep groups on the topic while providing the opportunity for users to talk about racial and social issues, as well, such as launching a subgroup for these discussions.