Meta is introducing a new way for Facebook’s nearly 3 billion users to connect with one another. In the coming weeks, the company plans to expand the availability of Community Chats, a feature that will allow Facebook and Messenger groups to organize discussions around their favorite topics. On top of the usual text conversations, Community Chats will support audio and video channels and allow admins to broadcast messages to their groups.
Since Meta envisions you using Community Chats to communicate with people outside of your immediate social circle, admins will have access to a handful of moderation tools to ensure conversations stay civil. An “Admin Assist” feature will allow them to create a list of words and phrases they want the platform to automatically flag and take action against. Admins also have the power to block, mute and suspend individuals who don’t play by their community’s rules. They can also host admin-only chats where they can talk privately with their moderation team.
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because Meta is effectively replicating how Discord works. On Discord, you can join that are organized around a single game or interest, and it’s even possible for admins to create multiple sub-channels for people to discuss specific aspects of their interest, much like Meta will allow Community Chats users to do. Even the moderation tools are Discord has released in recent months to combat trolls.