Interestingly, at a time when Facebook is being accused of favoring its own growth over the public good, when it is being examined how it facilitates the intensification of misinformation. Interestingly, despite all this, the platform is still testing new options that would essentially enable just this type of behavior.
Today, the user @AkramAlodini has shared this image of a new Facebook test that would allow users to share a post in multiple Facebook groups at once.
As you can see in this screenshot (share it Matt Navarra), the new option would allow Facebook users to cross-update in multiple groups of which they are members, which would facilitate simplified sharing, and ideally, at least for Facebook, increase the number of people sharing more content in multiple groups, more often.
But isn’t that exactly the behavior that WhatsApp tried to limit last year, when it introduced new restrictions how many times can users reshare messages?
In January last year, WhatsApp was limited sharing a message up to five times per message, in order to stop the flow of misinformation in its application – especially the content of the COVID conspiracy. WhatsApp later implemented even stricter measures in forwarding messages, trying to limit the capacity to abuse its network.
And WhatsApp says the approach was very effective:
“Since the introduction of the new restriction, globally, there has been a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages sent via WhatsApp. This change helps WhatsApp remain a place for personal and private conversations. “
Thus, WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, basically acknowledged that limiting the number of messages that can be forwarded, especially in group chats, can have a big impact on reducing the spread of misinformation. Still, now he wants to facilitate that special functionality on Facebook?
It seems like a conflict, which is also in line with the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugenbelieves that the company will decided to “optimize for their own interests, such as making more money“Over the public good.
I mean, it’s a smaller example, and there’s no doubt that there’s a benefit to being able to share a Facebook post in multiple groups at once, especially if you’re heavily engaged on a particular topic or interest and you’re active in different communities.
But still, it seems like a weird test, considering the example of WhatsApp.
Anyway, Facebook seems to be testing it. We have requested more information about the experiment from Facebook and will update this post if / when they contact us.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.