Fake news slap for Alice facebook group

The largest Facebook group in Alice Springs, the private “Alice Springs Community Open Forum”, has been slapped with a distribution restriction from Facebook for too many posts containing false information. 
Facebook has also said that they have stopped suggesting people join the group.
Admin of the group, Darren Gregory posted on Monday afternoon that he had received communication from Facebook that the “group’s distribution is reduced due to false information” which appeared on the group’s page. 
The tech giant also provided examples of the posts in question, but these posts were not shared by Mr Gregory, although they are not hard to find. 
At least they weren’t. It seems that along with the distribution limitation, these posts containing false information have gone from flagged to deleted.
A piece of advice from Facebook in its communication with the page admin was: “You can delete the false information from your group to help restore it to normal distribution. You can also suggest that members read more about spotting false news.” 
It is unclear whether the admin took the advice or the posts were taken down by a higher power. 
As has been reported by the News, the group has had a clique of high volume posters who subscribe to the views of the American far right and other conspiracy driven “news” providers for some time. 
These posters are by no means the only participants in the group — it has over 15,000 members — but it appears that they may have hindered the group’s ability to appear in news feeds. 
In a blog post by Tom Alison, Facebook’s VP of Engineering, Facebook promised that even if admins choose “to make a group private, they have to play by the same rules as everyone else”.
Facebook does this through a mix of AI detection and human fact checkers, a system that can have pitfalls such as those delved into by Renew Economy’s Giles Parkinson, but is widely recognised as a step in the right direction for cleaning up the platform. 
For now, Facebook says that the group is not at risk of being disabled, but whether it remains a useful tool for the Alice Springs Community in this capacity is unclear.


  1. The classification of what is claimed to be “false information” on FB is at the mercy of the so-called “fact checkers” in the FB administration backroom who remain nameless. That’s “social media” for you.

  2. John, the amount of racist spew and pseudoscientific clap trap (usually shared by the same 20 compulsively posting rabid pro-Trump climate denying muppets) is huge.
    I’d take the fact checkers over the red neck mouth breathers “hot take” any day.
    There is a reason the Alice Springs Open Community Forum is also locally known as the Alice Springs Open Community cesspit.

  3. @ Matt: I take your point that comments in the Open Community Forum trend towards the expression of political views from both Left and Right members of the Forum.
    And that goes to the real problem with social media giants like FaceBook and Twitter.
    When their owners like Zuckerberg and Dorsey make substantial donations to a specific political party, as occurred in the US election, their in-house “fact checkers” and administrators are free to manipulate the platform to present preferred views and de-platform whomever they wish, rather than to report balanced factual news and balanced opinion.
    As private enterprise employers they are not restricted by the Journalistic Code of Ethics that the mainstream media is regulated under, and they have the freedom of expression right to do whatever they like.
    Hence the current world battle between MSM and social media in the parliaments and the courts. There is much evidence of this.
    Erwin’s Alice Springs News represents the middle ground where the Average Punter Alician gets a fair crack at commenting on local current affairs.

  4. Too true. Twitter shut down the American President.
    The Google Galactic Empire will determine who and how the world is managed. Just as “News Papers” have previously.


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