Facebook has been testing Community Action, a feature that enables people to share petitions about local issues on News Feed, in select U.S. markets over the past several weeks, and that test group is growing larger this week.
People in the test group can create a Community Action containing information including the specific change that is needed (such as adding dedicated bike lanes to downtown streets), why it would benefit the affected community and which government officials and/or agencies would be responsible for making the changes.
Facebook users who support the proposal can indicate that they are on board by clicking the Support button, and they can also share Stories and videos illustrating why the issue is important to them.
Elected officials and government agencies can also take part in the process by responding to and engaging with people who support the Community Action, and they can create Community Actions of their own.
The social network said it will proactively monitor Community Actions for violations of its community standards, and those containing language or images that violate its community standards will be removed.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “Building informed and civically engaged communities is at the core of Facebook’s mission. Every day, people come together on Facebook to advocate for causes they care about, including by contacting their elected officials, launching a fundraiser or starting a group. Through these and other tools, we have seen people marshal support for and get results on issues that matter to them. Community Action is another way for people to advocate for changes in their communities and partner with elected officials and government agencies on solutions.”
The social network also shared the following examples of Community Actions that are active on its platform:
- Moratorium on New Drilling, aimed at curbing the number of drilling permits issued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission.
- St. Augustine Performing Arts Centre, which, as the name suggests, is pushing for a performing arts center in St. Augustine, Fla.
- Pedestrian Safety near Nebinger and Santore Library, seeking the installation of crosswalks, stop signs, stop legends, ramps for the disabled and other “basic intersection components” in Philadelphia’s Bella Vista neighborhood.