Facebook Knew Calls for Violence Plagued ‘Groups,’ Now Plans Overhaul
Facebook Inc. in 2019 redesigned its flagship product to center on what it called Groups, forums for like-minded users. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg called them the new “heart of the app.”
Now the social-networking giant is clamping down on Groups. The effort began after Facebook’s own research found that American Facebook Groups became a vector for the rabid partisanship and even calls for violence that inflamed the country after the election.
The changes, which Facebook escalated after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, involve overhauling the mechanics of a product that was meant to be central to its future.
Facebook executives were aware for years that tools fueling Groups’ rapid growth presented an obstacle to their effort to…