Facebook revealed further improvements to its processes aimed at preventing the spread of misinformation on social media and Instagram ahead of Tuesday’s elections, as well as suppressing the influence of conspiracy theory QAnon.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a Senate Trade Committee hearing on Wednesday that civic groups would be removed from Facebook’s group recommendations, and the social network went a step further on Friday, adding that any new groups would also be temporarily filtered out.
During the company’s third quarter 2020 earnings call Thursday evening, Zuckerberg said, “I worry that given our country is so divided and election results may take days or weeks to complete, there is a risk of unrest across the country consists. With that in mind, companies like us need to go way beyond what we’ve done before. “
In a similar move, Instagram is temporarily removing the “Recently Used” tab on its hashtag pages and tweeted, “We are doing this to reduce the real-time distribution of potentially harmful content that may crop up during the election.”
Finally, Facebook will limit the spread of the hashtag #SaveOurChildren, as the phrase has been associated with QAnon for the past few months.
A spokesperson for the social network said, “Earlier this week we stepped up how we enforce our rules against QAnon on sites, events and groups. Starting today, we’re limiting the spread of the “Save our Children” hashtag as we’ve determined that related content is now linked to QAnon. If people look for it, they will now see credible resources for child safety. “