Facebook to launch a new petitions feature

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Facebook to launch a new petitions feature 2

It’s hard to argue the importance of social media in changing the political world as we speak. Not only has the likes of Twitter allowed common people to directly interact with the secretaries of politicians (unless you’re Donald Trump who appears to do this all himself) but it’s also seen the rise of fake media and propaganda that has only led to more extreme viewpoints being accepted.

For good or bad, it’s a way people are becoming accustomed to getting their news and interacting with each other about politics. And Facebook, one of the key sites which people use to engage in this kind of conversation – wants to actually try and put a positive spin on the political angle through a new feature called Community Actions (as reported in TechCrunch) which will allow users to notify their local officials of actions that they’d like to see happen

The new feature is first being rolled out to residents of the United States tomorrow where people will be able to create a petition, tag relevant public officials or organizations, and get their friends to support their cause. Supporters for any given petition will be able to discuss the topic with fellow supporters on the page, and will also be able to create events and fundraisers.

It’s a noble idea to help generate some positive interaction between elected officials and their constituents, but one that you just know I going to be quickly abused by the masses of the internet and instead of seeing a lot of positive petitions getting drawn to fix problems at school or in neighbourhoods, you know petitions targeting fanboy things like video games and movie are going to get the most excitement (You know that Half-Life 3 or Justice League Snyder-cut petition is going to happen). I personally can’t wait to see how quick a petition to ban Facebook takes to get made, because you know it’s inevitable.

There is no worked yet on whether Facebook is planning a wider rollout of this feature, though it will possibly all depend on the success of its adoption in the US before it gets released elsewhere. Which means once the petitions and comments descend into the typically oppressive vitriol they normally od, its unlikely it will come out here at all.

Last Updated: January 21, 2019

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