Facebook is rolling out new tools for community members, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at its Social Good Forum in New York City on Wednesday. While the features are efforts by Facebook to strengthen and bring communities together, some of the company's most pressing issues like the spread of fake news and ads on the platform did not come up.

The social media network told Congress in September it found $100,000 in ad spending from June 2015 to May 2017, which traced back to 3,000 ads. The Facebook ads were created and pushed by Kremlin-linked trolls, including the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency. Facebook initially said last month the ads had reached as many as 10 million, but it was reported afterwards that the real number was closer to 126 million people in the U.S. may have seen posts, stories and other content created by groups tracing back to the Kremlin.

Last month, Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, publicly testified before Congress for two days on Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election, as well as ways to combat extremist content and fake news and ads from the Kremlin on their platforms. Despite these issues being at the forefront of public discussions surrounding Facebook, the company did not address its fake news problem or Russia’s use of its platform during the Social Good Forum.

As the title of its NYC event suggests, Facebook talked about its successes and upcoming programs aiming to help communities. 

Social Good Forum: New Facebook Updates For Communities


Mentorship Initiative

One of the biggest announcements Facebook made on Wednesday was its mentorship and support tool. The update would allow people to find mentors or mentees via Facebook.

At the event, Zuckerberg emphasized that “relationships and people around us help shape our paths,” and that some people might not have others to look up to as mentors, an area in which Facebook would step in.

Those interested in looking for mentors or mentees are matched by a nonprofit partner and work through a step-by-step program on Facebook created by the organization and customized to the needs of the mentee. The initiative is available for people ages 18 and older.

Facebook is starting the initiative as a pilot with iMentor, focused on education, and the International Rescue Committee, which works on crisis recovery. Facebook hopes the tools will help connect people interested in different cases, whether it’s career advancement or addiction recovery.

Expanding Fundraising Tools

Facebook also announced it is expanding its nonprofit fundraising tools, including the donate buttons and fundraisers. The tools are now be available in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg. Personal fundraisers on Facebook are also now expanded to the U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand. The company announced users can now sync their off-Facebook fundraising to their fundraisers on the platform.

Facebook will also get rid of its nonprofit fees, meaning 100 percent of donations made through the platform will go directly to the intended organizations.

Blood Donations and Community Help API

The social media network announced that it will expand its blood donations feature, which is currently available in India, to Bangladesh in early 2018. The tool allows users to sign up to be blood donors and connects those in need of blood donations to donors.

Facebook also revealed it will share its Community Help data with disaster response organizations. The data gives responders information about what people need during a crisis, like food, water or access to roads.

The announced initiatives and tools follow Facebook’s previous feature on suicide prevention that was revealed this week. The tool scans posts to detect if someone might be considering taking their life. However, that feature was met with some backlash over the use of AI on posts.