On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media platform would no longer recommend civic or political groups or organizations to its users.
Zuckerberg said that some countries have reported that it will only include political groups, but he says that is false. He said it will include civic and political entities.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, a civic organization or group could include any fraternal society or association, local service club, veterans post, police organization, volunteer fire or rescue group, or local civic league or association of 10 or more persons not organized for profit. This includes any nonprofit or private groups operated exclusively for educational or charitable purposes.
Zuckerberg said the algorithms will be permanent and will be expanded globally with no exceptions.
The company says that groups and pages will not be deleted unless they violate a Facebook policy, but they will not be recommended in anyone’s feed. They will still be searchable and people will still be allowed to join or follow an organization.
In recent months, Zuckerberg said the company has received an enormous amount of pressure from watchdog groups demanding civic and political organizations recommended in news feeds be decreased in some way. Additionally, he said that millions of users have expressed the same sentiment through feedback.
“Politics has kind of had a way of creeping into everything, and I think a lot of the feedback that we see from our community is that people don’t want that in their experience,” said Zuckerberg. He went on to say, “There are also a lot of groups that we may not want to encourage people to join, even if they don’t violate our policies. Now, we plan to keep civic and political groups out of recommendations for the long term.”
Facebook said anyone who operates any of the aforementioned types of pages or groups will certainly see a decrease in traffic.