Facebook updates Group privacy policies to make it easier to understand

Facebook Groups were either Public, Closed or Secret. These will now change to simply Public and Private


Facebook is revamping the naming conventions for its Groups to make it simpler for people to understand them. The idea behind this change of names is to avoid malicious actors for using groups for negative purposes such as spreading hatred online or fake news among other things.

So far, Facebook Groups were either Public, Closed or Secret. These will now change to simply Public and Private, with the Private Group having two options.

Facebook updates Group privacy policies to make it easier to understand

Stickers bearing the Facebook logo are pictured at Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California. REUTERS/Stephen

"Having two privacy settings — public and private — will help make it clearer about who can find the group and see the members and posts that are part of it. We’ve also heard that most people prefer to use the terms “public” and “private” to describe the privacy settings of groups they belong to," said Jordan Davis, product manager for Facebook Groups on the Facebook newsroom blog.

Here are the major takeaways:

  • Public Group: Will be visible to everyone and you can search these groups and find its members.
  • Private Group (Visible): Anyone can find this group, but only members can see who is in the group and what they post.
  • Private Group (Hidden): Only members of the group can find this group. And only members can see who is in the group and what they post.

Admins will be able to locate the new controls in the Group settings. Whenever an admin changes the privacy settings of the group, all members of the group will get a notification regarding the changes.

Facebook Groups changes

Facebook Groups changes

According to Facebook, this change in Groups privacy policy is part of its Safe Communities Initiative. Facebook claims to have hired more than 30,000 people in its safety and security division. As part of the initiative, the safety teams have a goal of protecting people using Facebook Groups from harm. To this effect, these resources are meant to proactively identify and remove harmful content from Groups.

"Increasingly, we can use AI and machine learning to proactively detect bad content before anyone reports it, and sometimes before people even see it. As content is flagged by our systems or reported by people, trained reviewers consider context and determine whether the content violates our Community Standards," said Davis.

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