NBC News: In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void

NBC News: In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void. “…the question of just who is accountable for providing information in Beaver County is murky. The area’s once-trusted news source, a newspaper with a 160-year history, was devastated in a few short months after it was swallowed up by giant corporate chains. The vacuum was filled by social media, namely Facebook.”

NiemanLab: The New York Times is so done with its 77,000-member Facebook cooking group. What happens now?

NiemanLab: The New York Times is so done with its 77,000-member Facebook cooking group. What happens now?. “Members are speculating: Why would The New York Times want to abandon its 77,000-member cooking Facebook group? The one whose demise I surely ensured by reporting, upon its launch two years ago, that it was a ‘happy corner of the internet’? A place where, as one Times social media editor put it at the time, ‘everyone’s so nice to each other, and so encouraging, it feels like one long episode of “The Great British Baking Show,” 24 hours a day’? A lot can change in two years.”

CNET: Facebook will warn you when you’re about to join a group that broke its rules

CNET: Facebook will warn you when you’re about to join a group that broke its rules. “Facebook will also limit the invite notifications for these groups to reduce membership and limit the distribution of their content, the social media giant said Wednesday. The moves are part of Facebook’s efforts to reduce the spread of harmful content such as hate speech and misinformation on its platform.”

ABC News (Australia): Sex abuse survivors lose archive as Facebook removes news from ‘life saving’ site

ABC News (Australia): Sex abuse survivors lose archive as Facebook removes news from ‘life saving’ site. “A survivor of clergy abuse who started a Facebook group to help other survivors says he is ‘devastated’ by the social media giant’s decision to block Australian news….[Richie Scutt] estimated more than 2,000 news articles had been shared to the Facebook group since 2016, and said he was devastated to find they had all disappeared when he logged onto Facebook this morning.”

New York Times: How to Fix Facebook Groups

New York Times: How to Fix Facebook Groups. “I don’t want to oversimplify and blame Facebook groups for every bad thing in the world…. And mitigating the harms of Facebook is not as simple as the company’s critics believe. But many of the toxic side effects of Facebook groups are a result of the company’s choices. I asked several experts in online communications what they would do to reduce the downsides of the groups. Here are some of their suggestions.”

SaltWire Network: Sackville N.B.’s Singing Cook brings joy to people feeling down because of COVID-19

SaltWire Network: Sackville N.B.’s Singing Cook brings joy to people feeling down because of COVID-19. “Moyra Boone has combined her love of cooking and singing to bring joy to people feeling down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sackville, N.B. woman was out of work and looking for something to pass the time when she began singing and cooking and sharing the experience on social media. Before she knew it, she had several hundred followers throughout the Maritimes and around the world – as far away as Australia.” Her Facebook group is here.

Washington Post: Facebook takes down a large network of pages tied to former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon for misinformation

Washington Post: Facebook takes down a large network of pages tied to former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon for misinformation. “Facebook took down a large network of pages tied to former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon for pushing misinformation about voter fraud and delegitimizing election results. Bannon’s page also incurred penalties, including not being allowed to post content, but was not removed from Facebook.”

Mashable: Facebook’s new policies are meant to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and hate in Groups

Mashable: Facebook’s new policies are meant to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and hate in Groups. “For the first time, Facebook is releasing stats concerning how the social media platform moderates what goes on in Facebook Groups. Alongside the new numbers, the company has also announced new policies surrounding how it will deal with conspiracy theories and hate speech that often flourishes inside these groups.”

Saudi Arabia: Followers of arms sales groups on social media to face 10 years in prison (Gulf News)

Gulf News: Saudi Arabia: Followers of arms sales groups on social media to face 10 years in prison. “Arms and contraband sales groups threaten their followers on social media with jail time and a hefty fine for entering these groups and failing to report their violations to authorities, local media reported. Under Saudi laws, followers of these arms sales groups bear legal responsibility as they fail to report these groups to authorities, and would face imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine of 5 million Saudi riyals if these groups support terrorism.”

Motherboard: Amazon Is Spying on Its Workers in Closed Facebook Groups, Internal Reports Show

Motherboard: Amazon Is Spying on Its Workers in Closed Facebook Groups, Internal Reports Show. “Amazon is monitoring the conversations of Amazon Flex drivers in dozens of private Facebook groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain, according to an internal web tool and reports left on the open internet and viewed by Motherboard. According to the files left online, Amazon corporate employees are getting regular reports about the social media posts of its Flex drivers on nominally private pages, and are using these reports to diagnose problems as well as monitor, for example, drivers ‘planning for any strike or protest against Amazon.’”

NBC News: How QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon

NBC News: How QAnon rode the pandemic to new heights — and fueled the viral anti-mask phenomenon. “While QAnon bubbled on the fringes of the internet for years, researchers and experts say it has emerged in recent months as a sort of centralized hub for conspiracy and alternative health communities. According to an internal document reported by NBC News this week, Facebook now has more than 1,000 of these QAnon groups, totaling millions of members.”

New York Times: Toxic Trade-Offs at Facebook

New York Times: Toxic Trade-Offs at Facebook. “Beginning in 2017, Facebook started a revamp to emphasize personal posts and interactions and to steer us away from aimlessly scrolling past news articles and puppy videos in the news feed. Among the changes was pushing people to Facebook Groups, or online forums of like-minded people. For many people, groups can be a wonderful resource and social outlet. But they also have become places for people to wallow in fake health treatments, plot violence or spread false theories like QAnon.”