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Facebook testing app to help people transition from prison back to society

Facebook testing app to help people transition from prison back to society
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Facebook is testing a new app that is aimed at helping people transition from prison back to society, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

The promotion for the software, which is called The Re-Entry App, was featured on the top of a select number of Instagram feeds on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. The notification prompted users to click for early access to try the app and give feedback.

The notification also said the app’s goal is to help with “preparing for life after prison with community support,” according to Bloomberg.

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“We’ve been exploring different ways to help close gaps faced by those in marginalized communities across our apps,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement obtained by The Hill.

Facebook revealed, however, that the test was only meant to be administered internally, and not to the general public.

“This was only intended to be an internal test and we took down the notice as soon as we learned it briefly ran externally,” the spokeswoman added.

Bloomberg News noted that Facebook frequently experiments with new software and service ideas that never progress into something else.

In June 2020, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Apple approves Parler's return to App Store | White House scales back response to SolarWinds, Microsoft incidents | Pressure mounts on DHS over relationship with Clearview AI Facebook unveils new audio features Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE, in a note to employees, said the company would focus on building products that can “play a positive role in helping to heal the divisions in our society.” Zuckerberg also revealed that the company “started a workstream for building products to advance racial justice."

In addition, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, established an Equity team that focuses on ensuring that marginalized communities are supported on Facebook’s platforms, and works to close the gaps in their experiences.

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The Hill reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for comment.

On Wednesday, Facebook made headlines when the company announced it had taken steps to hinder the efforts of Chinese hacking groups to target and monitor members of the Uyghur community in China and other countries abroad.

The company also recently revealed that during the last three months of 2020, it removed more than a billion posts from accounts that were judged to be fraudulent or fake.

--Updated at 10:18 a.m.