As I’m sure you noticed, Facebook suffered massive downtime to several services last week, including Messenger, Instagram and so on. Such events often serve to highlight what services we have rely on. While I’ve been (at least attempting to) phase out Facebook for some time, there are still some things that I actually need it for.
I use Facebook for many things. One of those things is to take advantage of the internet hivemind, and get opinions and recommendations for any number of things, from what tech to get, to where to eat. One thing that annoys me a lot, is when someone posts something irrelevant, just so that they can follow the conversation. If memory serves, it used to be that you had to post something – anything – in order to get notifications of what happened in a thread, and it is from this that the practice stems.
In last week’s post repeating my view on Facebook Groups, I didn’t mention a fairly new tool that group admins have; an option to ask up to three questions to prospective members. It’s found under Manage Groups -> Edit Group Settings, and the option looks as follows:
As I’ve alluded to previously, I administer a few Facebook groups. Groups are one of my favorite Facebook features, and they are useful to communicate with a subset of Facebook users without necessarily having to be friends with them.
I would like to revisit my thoughts on understanding the product of news outlets. Some time ago, an acquaintance, who works for a news outlet posted a picture of a newspaper article to his Facebook feed, stating that “…this is journalism. You can’t get it on social media – or on blogs for that matter. Journalism at its best is both critical and supportive of society at the same time…”
Back in september of last year, I lamented the lack of what I view as a crucial admin tool on Facebook; the option to close a thread for comments while leaving the original post there for everyone to read. Since then, this is something I have found myself wanting time and again, as I have been forced to delete entire threads that, though interesting, simply created too much of a heated debate.
As a Facebook page admin, you have a number of tools. You can delete posts, threads and users, you can add users, and you can pin threads to the top, just to mention a few examples. One thing you can’t do, is close a thread. As admin for several pages, this is becoming a bit of a headache. On the one hand, many of the users of the pages in question have long histories of solid contributions, and the discussions can get lively. We want that to happen. On the other hand, discussions sometimes get out of hand, in particular when controversial topics are on the agenda.
The way Facebook currently works, people may add others to groups without their approval, essentially making groups opt-out, rather than opt-in. This is a massive problem. It allows people to add others to groups, making it seem like they support the agenda the group is pushing. In case you doubt what I’m saying, this has already happened (link in Norwegian).
Last week, I showed you how to disable Facebook’s automatic play feature when using Facebook in the browser. However, this annoying feature is also automatically enabled in the iOS (and I assume Android) apps. Luckily, they can be disabled there, too. Here’s how: