Facebook Extends Harassment Policy to Protect Public Figures

Facebook Extends Harassment Policy to Protect Public Figures

Lastly, the company based in Menlo Park, California, announced it will ban all coordinated harassment, in which a group of individuals work together to bully another user. That change will apply to all users.

Facebook will grow its policies on harassment to eliminate more destructive content, the company said on Wednesday in its most recent change following congressional testimonyfrom a whistleblower who faulted the social media giant for not doing what’s needed to stop unsafe content. Under the new, more detailed harassment policy, Facebook will bar content that debases or sexualises public figures, including VIPs, elected officials, and others in the public eye. Existing arrangements as of now restrict comparable content about private people. One more change will add additional security from harassment to government dissidents, columnists, and human rights activists all throughout the world. In many countries, social media harassment has been used in efforts to silence journalists and activists.

“We do not allow bullying and harassment on our platform, but when it does happen, we act,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, wrote in a blog post.

The changes come amid mounting criticism of the company’s handling of hate speech, misinformation and negative content. Concerns about harassment range from teenagers bullying each other on Instagram to the coordinated abuse of journalists and dissidents by groups linked to authoritarian governments.

Last week, former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen told Congress that the company has done too little to address its responsibility for spreading harmful content, and too often chooses profit over its users’ best interests.

Days later, the company announced that it would introduce new features designed to protect kids, including one encouraging them to take a break from the platform.

Celebrities, even those who profit handsomely off Facebook and Instagram, haven’t been shy about criticizing the company.

In an interview earlier this year with The Associated Press, singer and actress Selena Gomez said she began pressing tech companies like Facebook to clean up their sites in 2017 after a 12-year-old commented on one of Gomez’s Instagram posts: “Go kill yourself.”

“That was my tipping point,” she said. “I couldn’t handle what I was seeing.”

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