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Facebook filed a patent for a ‘civil’ political debate forum

Facebook has applied to patent a system where people could comment on laws that might affect them, then have that feedback worked into a formal political proposal, creating a way for people to “meaningfully engage in civil discourse” online. The concept would build on Facebook’s earlier attempts at promoting civic engagement, and it sounds similar to other, existing crowdsourced democracy tools. But Facebook’s vast scale could put tremendous weight behind any kind of private political forum.

The patent, titled “Providing digital forums to enhance civic engagement,” covers a localized and politics-focused form of social networking. The system would identify a proposed new law or amendment, then use existing social networking data to find…

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