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Facebook Unveils New Penalties on Its Groups in Wake of Capitol Riot

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Facebook Inc . introduced new penalties for interest-based forums called Groups that are flagged for violating its community standards, as it aims to curb a product that played a high-profile role in the protests that led up to the Capitol riot.

“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 Facebook’s own researchers found that the company’s 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 platform’s 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.

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