Facebook says the new feature is designed to help real experts “stand out” in discussions about their field of expertise. It will enable effective communication between users discussing a particular topic especially health-related issues.
The access will be provided by the group admins to give the particular title to any group member they want. It will represent just like other titles on an individual’s profile name like a moderator, admin, etc.
The people selected will have a choice of whether to accept or decline the expert invitation. If they accept, they will get a badge next to their name.
BBC reported Facebook groups have been used by movements such as QAnon, anti-vaccination groups, and contentious political factions which spread misinformation. Earlier this year, Facebook changed its policies to remove groups that discourage people from getting vaccines, and also stopped recommending political groups to new members. However, a Facebook spokesperson said the function was a “limited test” and only available to select groups, to begin with.
The company that just began $1Billion dollar said that among the active groups currently running on Facebook, there are about 70 million administrators and moderators. So it won’t be an easy rollout for Facebook group admins to select experts in their particular group domain but there are some plans.
As part of the rollout, Facebook said it is also experimenting with ways to let group admins find true experts on a topic to invite to their groups. It said it was testing giving specific, curated people in the fitness and gaming spheres the ability to specify what they have expertise in “like yoga or a particular game title”. Group admins could then search for experts to invite to raise the standard of contributions.
Facebook said the new feature is a way to promote genuinely knowledgeable voices within groups.
“Admins now have the ability to select specific members in their communities who stand out, empowering them to play a more meaningful role,”
“Admins can collaborate with group experts to host Q&As, share perspectives on a topic and respond to questions”Maria Smith (Facebook Executive) wrote in a blog post.
Alistair Coleman from BBC wrote, Facebook’s announcement currently gives no indication of a vetting process for appointing experts. It allows individual group members to flag up their expertise and hope they are invited by the admins. This is a process that could obviously be gamed by users and admins looking to play the system. So, there are some trust issues as well.
A huge number of groups are created to spread myths, conspiracies, false information, or hate speech among common people who scroll their news feed almost every other minute. We consume information every day but it’s not about consuming information, it’s about whether it’s true or untrue. Most of us consume information without any verification and that’s dangerous because there’s a high chance that it may affect our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and most probably actions.
So just like social media usage totally depends upon users, this feature will also depend upon admins and their selected experts!
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