Facebook Cancels “Common Ground” Project Aimed at Reducing Toxicity

By Nitish Singh / December 24, 2018

One of the issues Facebook users deal with on a daily basis is toxicity. People are too polarized with their opinions and having a civil discussion can be difficult in many communities, especially when it comes to politics and other sensitive topics. The social media platform had considered introducing the tools that would encourage users to be more civil towards each other when discussing political beliefs.

Joel Kaplan, who is the Vice President of Global Public Policy halted the introduction of anti-toxicity tools, and we will not see any of the planned changes anytime soon. Kaplan is of the opinion that introducing such a project would lead to accusations of the platform being biased.

Facebook had considered making changes to how posts are ranked in the news-feed and posts that are liked more would be pushed higher up. Another idea that was explored by the company was to drop the rankings of hateful comments if they led to negative discussion. However, according to Kaplan, data from Facebook’s research revealed that right-leaning users on the platform are far more polarized and are less open to exploring other people’s opinions and views compared to left-leaning users.

While it is unlikely the introduction of such tools would remove toxicity from the platform, it would be a step in the right direction. The platform has been dragged into a number of controversies in the recent past including both political and related issues. Twitter has been one of the platforms that have considered changes to promote a healthier community and Facebook should attempt to do the same as well.

What do you think about Facebook’s decision to scrap the “common grounds” project? Let us know in the comments below. Also, to get instant tech updates, follow TechNadu's Facebook page, and Twitter handle.

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