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Facebook wants groups to move slowly and fix Facebook

The company introduced a slew of new tools for admins, designed to limit bad behavior inside groups.

An illustration of circular Facebook logos on a blue background

Facebook group admins just received a new suite of tools.

Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/Getty Images

Facebook announced a suite of new tools for group admins Wednesday, designed to slow down heated conversations and root out spam and troublesome members.

The tools offload some of the work of cleaning up Facebook onto group administrators, who often have the most immediate insight into what's happening in their communities, but until how, have had little recourse to immediately address serious issues.

The new Admin Home platform includes tools like conflict alerts, which use AI to notify group admins when "contentious or unhealthy conversations" are taking place in a group, a Facebook blog post said. Facebook also unveiled a tool that lets moderators slow down those conversations by limiting how often certain members can comment or how often comments can be made in general.

The new tools also give admins the ability to filter out promotional materials with specific links and spam, as well as comments from people who are new to Facebook or new to the group.

"It's important for admins to be able to set, shape and reinforce a community's culture," Facebook's vice president of communities, Maria Smith, wrote. "Understanding who their members are and setting clear rules and norms for the community to follow is at the center of that."

Facebook has become increasingly aware of the problems that exist within groups, particularly in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, which was organized in part inside large Stop the Steal groups on Facebook. Facebook acted to shut the groups down, but they continued to pop back up, often with new names and set as private.

Weeks after the riot, Facebook said it would no longer promote political groups in its News Feed. Over the last year, it's also announced a slew of new policies with regard to groups and their admins, punishing groups and admins that repeatedly violate Facebook policies and archiving groups whose admins are no longer active.

Those measures could help crack down on groups led by problematic users. But the tools Facebook announced Wednesday seem to be geared toward admins who genuinely want the conversations they're leading to be less toxic.

All of it is an abrupt about-face from Facebook's aggressive lean into groups just a few years ago, when, in an effort to distance itself from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg declared that the future of Facebook was private communities and that the company had redesigned its platform to "make communities as central as friends."

It's an even more abrupt retreat from Facebook's first decade of chasing growth at all costs. The new tools embrace the concept of adding friction to online interactions, something that Twitter is also experimenting with through its prompts that warn users before they use "harmful" language.

Now, Facebook, the company that pushed its employees to move quickly, is taking stock of what's broken and urging its users to move slowly.

Protocol | Workplace

The Activision Blizzard lawsuit has opened the floodgates

An employee walkout, a tumbling stock price and damning new reports of misconduct.

Activision Blizzard is being sued for widespread sexism, harassment and discrimination.

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard is in crisis mode. The World of Warcraft publisher was the subject of a shocking lawsuit filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing last week over claims of widespread sexism, harassment and discrimination against female employees. The resulting fallout has only intensified by the day, culminating in a 500-person walkout at the headquarters of Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine on Wednesday.

The company's stock price has tumbled nearly 10% this week, and CEO Bobby Kotick acknowledged in a message to employees Tuesday that Activision Blizzard's initial response was "tone deaf." Meanwhile, there has been a continuous stream of new reports unearthing horrendous misconduct as more and more former and current employees speak out about the working conditions and alleged rampant misogyny at one of the video game industry's largest and most powerful employers.

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Nick Statt
Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

Over the last year, financial institutions have experienced unprecedented demand from their customers for exposure to cryptocurrency, and we've seen an inflow of institutional dollars driving bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to record prices. Some banks have already launched cryptocurrency programs, but many more are evaluating the market.

That's why we've created the Crypto Maturity Model: an iterative roadmap for cryptocurrency product rollout, enabling financial institutions to evaluate market opportunities while addressing compliance requirements.

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Caitlin Barnett, Chainanalysis
Caitlin’s legal and compliance experience encompasses both cryptocurrency and traditional finance. As Director of Regulation and Compliance at Chainalysis, she helps leading financial institutions strategize and build compliance programs in order to adopt cryptocurrencies and offer new products to their customers. In addition, Caitlin helps facilitate dialogue with regulators and the industry on key policy issues within the cryptocurrency industry.
Protocol | Workplace

Founder sues the company that acquired her startup

Knoq founder Kendall Hope Tucker is suing the company that acquired her startup for discrimination, retaliation and fraud.

Kendall Hope Tucker, founder of Knoq, is suing Ad Practitioners, which acquired her company last year.

Photo: Kendall Hope Tucker

Kendall Hope Tucker felt excited when she sold her startup last December. Tucker, the founder of Knoq, was sad to "give up control of a company [she] had poured five years of [her] heart, soul and energy into building," she told Protocol, but ultimately felt hopeful that selling it to digital media company Ad Practitioners was the best financial outcome for her, her team and her investors. Now, seven months later, Tucker is suing Ad Practitioners alleging discrimination, retaliation and fraud.

Knoq found success selling its door-to-door sales and analytics services to companies such as Google Fiber, Inspire Energy, Fluent Home and others. Knoq representatives would walk around neighborhoods, knocking on doors to market its customers' products and services. The pandemic, however, threw a wrench in its business. Prior to the acquisition, Knoq says it raised $6.5 million from Initialized Capital,, Techstars and others.

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Megan Rose Dickey
Megan Rose Dickey is a senior reporter at Protocol covering labor and diversity in tech. Prior to joining Protocol, she was a senior reporter at TechCrunch and a reporter at Business Insider.
Protocol | Workplace

What’s the purpose of a chief purpose officer?

Cisco's EVP and chief people, policy & purpose officer shares how the company is creating a more conscious and hybrid work culture.

Like many large organizations, the leaders at Cisco spent much of the past year working to ensure their employees had an inclusive and flexible workplace while everyone worked from home during the pandemic. In doing so, they brought a new role into the mix. In March 2021 Francine Katsoudas transitioned from EVP and chief people officer to chief people, policy & purpose Officer.

For many, the role of a purpose officer is new. Purpose officers hold their companies accountable to their mission and the people who work for them. In a conversation with Protocol, Katsoudas shared how she is thinking about the expanded role and the future of hybrid work at Cisco.

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Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.

Protocol | Fintech

The digital dollar is coming. The payments industry is worried.

Jodie Kelley heads the Electronic Transactions Association. The trade group's members, who process $7 trillion a year in payments, want a say in the digital currency.

Jodie Kelley is CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association.

Photo: Electronic Transactions Association

The Electronic Transactions Association launched in 1990 just as new technologies, led by the World Wide Web, began upending the world of commerce and finance.

The disruption hasn't stopped.

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Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at or via Signal at (510)731-8429.

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