Facebook launches civic engagement-boosting features in US

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facebook constituent badge

Facebook has brought in three new features in the US in a bid to boost civic-engagement in the country.

The new features, which were announced on Wednesday, allows users in the US to connect more easily with their elected representatives. The latest features are thought to be a way to rehabilitate its image as a credible source of information following a wave of criticism after last November’s presidential election that the company did too little to combat misleading or wholly fabricated political news stories during the campaign.

The first feature is one that allows users to turn on “Constituent Badges” to identify them as living in their elected officials’ district. The opt-in badge will be visible when a user comments on content shared by their federal, state and local representatives.

The next feature is called “Constituent Insights” that allows elected officials and other users to find local news stories that are popular in their district. Finally the “District Targeting” enables creation of a preset audience selection that lets politicians’ pages target posts to people likely to be their constituents.

Facebook has continued to come under attack from prominent Democrats and some technology experts despite a raft of changes it has made in recent months that seek to help users consume more legitimate political news.

Hillary Clinton, who ran for president as a Democrat last year but lost to President Donald Trump, a Republican, said last week that Facebook was flooded with false information about her during the campaign and that people were understandably misled. She said she wanted Facebook to curate its network more aggressively.

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