Facebook will introduce a new feature called Community Actions which will allow members of a community to have their say in what happens in their area.
This new feature will give people the opportunity to express their view on something they would like to happen in their local community.
Users will be able to request change from their local government bodies or elected officials.
Supporters of the petitions are able to discuss the topic with others, leave comments, and create events such as fundraisers.
The launch of Community Actions is part of a larger effort by the Facebook to build “informed and civically engaged communities,” a spokesperson said.
Community Actions has been launched across the US today after several weeks of trial runs. The addition of the feature is to simplify how people use petitions on Facebook. Before, people could share petitions from websites such as change.org, but now it can be done directly through Facebook itself.
Facebook will be monitoring all the Community Actions on its site, with human moderators along with user flagging and algorithmic detection to make sure that the petitions aren’t hateful or abusive. Also, some government officials will be given a “constituents” badge, ensuring that people know when a government representative has commented on the post.
Facebook has launched several features that involve the engagement of communities in recent years, like the Town Hall feature that allowed users to locate, follow and contact government representatives.
Eleanor Clough-Delaney works a lot with local her local community in Streatham Hill and organises events such as an annual street party. She gives her opinion on this new feature;
“[Petitions] can give single people a voice in unison with other like minded people and give them the benefit of a ‘hive’ group to feel solidarity with. There’s safety and strength in numbers.”.