You know how petitions usually occur offline, or how there are websites like Change.org that allow users create petitions that can be shared to other social media users to participate in? Facebook has decided to integrate its own in its platform, calling it Community Actions, as reported by TechCrunch.
The feature will allow Facebook users to create petitions for or against decisions made by local and national leaders in their region. This will be rolled out in the USA first.
There is a bit of concern that this tool may be abused by some organizations to bully others into accepting their ideals/beliefs on the platform. Just how Facebook will handle that is yet to be known.
TechCrunch writer, Josh Constine, says:
“Every tool it designs for positive expression and connectivity can be subverted for polarization and misinformation. Facebook’s membership has swelled into such a ripe target for exploitation that it draws out the worst of humanity. You can imagine misuses like “Crack down on [minority group]” that are offensive or even dangerous but some see as legitimate. The question is whether Facebook puts in the forethought and aftercare to safeguard its new tools with proper policy and moderation. Otherwise each new feature is another liability.”
The tool is a sort of accountability medium for people and the people in government, so petitions will not be just any random cause. The number of people supporting the petition will be able to be viewed by any Facebook user but you can only see the names of those you’re friends with or if it’s a page you’ve liked.
I don’t know when this tool will be available, if at all, in other regions, but I’ll share as soon as it is.