Facebook has confirmed that it will temporarily stop recommending Groups that touch on political and social issues in the days leading up to the U.S. elections next month. This is according to a report from BuzzFeed, which cited a Facebook representative.
The latest change means users in the U.S. won't be able to see recommendations of existing Facebook Groups that focus on those subjects. This will apply to newly created groups as well. The Facebook representative told the publication:
“This is a measure we put in place in the lead-up to Election Day. We will assess when to lift them afterwards, but they are temporary."
There's no public announcement from Facebook regarding the change, and it's not exactly known when the social networking giant began restricting recommendations for those types of groups. Early this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned the change during a Senate hearing.
BuzzFeed noted that a test showed group administrators could still manually recommend groups, although the algorithm for automatically suggesting groups may have been suspended for the time being. A quick search on Facebook also generated results showing political and social issues groups.
It's the latest step in Facebook's initiatives to curb the spread of misinformation ahead of the elections and help protect the integrity of the polls. For example, it does not accept new political ads for now and will ban ads that prematurely claim victory.