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Facebook rolls out new features to help users connect with elected officials

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Facebook announced three new features Wednesday aimed at boosting civic engagement in the U.S., allowing users to better connect with elected officials, candidates and staff.

The new offerings help users sort through a mountain of content on the social network and help politicians find comments and news stories that connect directly to their home districts.

First, Facebook users will have a new feature – “Constituent Badges” – that identify themselves as part of a representative’s district by securely entering a home address.

“Constituent Insights” is another feature that allows a politician to track news stories and other viral content popular with users in their district.

“District Targeting” can allow an elected official to change page settings to allow them to broadcast Facebook Live feeds and other messages only to individuals residing in their districts.

The new features come as the social media giant seeks to make over its image as a credible source of information after November’s presidential election, when the company struggled to effectively combat a flood of fake news – either misleading or entirely fabricated political stories.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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