There was a time when you wanted your local politicians to pay attention to your petition, you had to write letters and get other people to write to them too. Then if they still didn’t bother responding, then you gather a small group to have a protest or demonstration. Well, now you can do all that without leaving your couch through various online petition sites and social media. Facebook wants to join in on the “fun” by launching their newest feature, Community Action.
If you’re familiar with the likes of change.org, Community Action is a bit similar, except that you don’t have to sign up for anything since everything happens on Facebook itself. It’s meant mostly for you to request something or call attention to an issue with your local and national elected officials or government agencies. It can also be used for brands and public personalities, although from the name itself, the idea is for a community to band together and effect change.
You can start a Community Action by adding a title, description, and image and then tagging the respective government agency or official that can act upon your petition. Then you will need to get people to tap on the Support button and once they do, they can have a discussion, leave comments, create fundraising campaigns, and organize Facebook events. It will tell you the number of supporters but you’ll only see the names of those who you’re friends with or Pages or public figures.
If used properly, this can be a great tool for you to bring offline results to your online actions. But as with a lot of things online, this can actually be prone to abuse and can be used by trolls and other nefarious elements. Facebook needs to be clear in terms of drawing the line on what is appropriate Community Action and what is propaganda or an attempt to browbeat politicians into their extreme agendas.
Facebook’s Community Action starts rolling out in the US after weeks of testing. There are already existing petitions like adding recycling bins in parks, calling for a moratorium on oil and gas drilling, etc.
January 21, 2019 at 06:30AM