Facebook is testing an app that helps prisoners transition back into society

midian182

Posts: 6,794   +61
Staff member
A hot potato: Facebook is testing an app designed to help convicts who are being released from prison adapt back into society. Called the Re-Entry app, the platform appears to be part of FB’s efforts to create more products aimed at marginalized communities.

As reported by Bloomberg, promotions for the social media app appeared at the top of some Instagram feeds yesterday, seemingly by mistake. The notification promised to help with “preparing for life after prison with community support.” Users were invited to click on the promo for early access to the Re-Entry app and offer feedback.

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

Many states don’t’ allow inmates to access social media or post information to the platforms. There are some, including Alabama and Iowa, that limit the ability of third parties such as friends and relatives to post on the prisoners’ behalf.

Last June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted Facebook to start “building products to advance racial justice.” FB-owned Instagram, meanwhile, created an Equity team last year with the aim of building “new features that respond to the needs of underserved communities.”

It's likely that an app for ex-prisoners would bring some controversy, but Facebook does often experiment with new ideas that never make it into the final product stage or end up drastically different from the initial concept.

Masthead image: MemoryMan

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,907   +5,450
There are already apps to help prisoners transition back into society:

Offender registry, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook itself.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,567   +5,259
I'd like to see Zuckerberg testing it first-hand some day. From his haircut, he does look ready.

I just suddenly realized what Zuckerberg has been reminding me of all these years - Jay Hamilton character from 2004 movie Walking Tall.

The final dialog about that character in the movie goes like this:
Do you think Jay's got a casino in the pen? Could be. Running the Shower Tower with the fellas? He's probably blowing on somebody's dice right now.
 
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VitalyT

Posts: 5,567   +5,259
He's a troubling thought, Mr Zuckerberg...

When a person goes out selling his/her privacy, we call that person a #hore. When someone goes out selling privacy of others, we call him a pimp. So my question is - what should we really call a person who sells privacy of others without their consent? I'm struggling to pick up the right word here...
 

envirovore

Posts: 193   +459
TechSpot Elite
He's a troubling thought, Mr Zuckerberg...

When a person goes out selling his/her privacy, we call that person a #hore. When someone goes out selling privacy of others, we call him a pimp. So my question is - what should we really call a person who sells privacy of others without their consent? I'm struggling to pick up the right word here...

A human trafficker?
 

Austinturner

Posts: 159   +165
Its really important that former criminals get back into society, get any training and education they need to get a legit job and stay out of prison. I don’t think Facebook is going to achieve any of that...
 

Watzupken

Posts: 202   +179
Sadly, anything coming from Facebook is more likely to benefit themselves rather than help others. Given their history and business they are in, data will be mined for sale.
 

Arbie

Posts: 259   +489
Zuckerberg has more money than God. Around 160 billion dollars. The last thing he's worried about is making more. He will want to leave a legacy - things that people praise long after he's gone. And with that kind of money, he can. So I don't automatically suspect his motives; in fact, the opposite.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,739   +6,107
If you want them to transition back into society. Stop treating them as prisoners when they get out. They served their time, stop harassing them, so they can move on.
 

Arbie

Posts: 259   +489
If this and a few other things do work out, Trump won't need his new social media channel.
 
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