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Facebook Quietly Suspended Political Group Recommendations Ahead Of The US Presidential Election [BuzzFeed]
November 2, 2020
A few days before the US election, Facebook deactivated its recommender system for political content, according to BuzzFeed (Ryan Mac & Craig Silverman). Interestingly, this move was not announced publicly but only during a hearing in the Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
During a contentious presidential election in the US, Facebook quietly stopped recommending that people join online groups dealing with political or social issues.
Mentioned in passing by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, the move was confirmed to BuzzFeed News by a Facebook spokesperson. The company declined to say when exactly it implemented the change or when it would end.
“This is a measure we put in place in the lead-up to Election Day,” said Facebook spokesperson Liz Bourgeois, who added that all new groups have been filtered out of the recommendation tool as well. “We will assess when to lift them afterwards, but they are temporary.”