Groups and members that violate our rules should have reduced privileges and reach, Facebook Vice President of Engineering

Tom Alison

said in a blog post Wednesday. The changes come after Facebooks own researchers found that the companys oversight of the product was weak.Groups forums are often private, but can attract millions of users. Facebook has heavily promoted them to users, and more than half of the platforms 2.8 billion monthly active users belong to at least five.

The company also will stop recommending political and health-related groups to countries outside of the U.S. It currently only restricts such recommendations to U.S. users.

The penalties formalize some of the restrictions placed on the product in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack.

Were trying to look at instances where administrators are trying to create unhealthy groups, Mr. Alison said.

The changes come after internal Facebook research found that Facebook Groups had been widely used to promote election-related conspiracies such as the Stop the Steal effort that preceded the Capitol riot.

Other social networks have been cracking down on misinformation on their platform.

Twitter Inc.

TWTR 0.71%

has introduced a strike system that penalizes users who post misleading information on such topics like the Covid-19 vaccine and election integrity.

Facebook recently concluded that some of its largest civic-based Groups were toxic and was alarmed by their growth, according to Internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed hours of video and audio from the Capitol riot to better understand how a mob of thousands overran police and attacked the U.S. Capitol. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

Write to Jeff Horwitz at [email protected]

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