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FB bans trolling of activists, journalists, dissidents

Republika

A whistleblower’s testimony to the United States Congrees regarding Facebook’s mishandling of harmful content has triggered change. The social media giant now says their harassment policies are being expanded for more harmful content to be removed. More details have been added that specifically ban content sexualizing or degrading public figures such as celebrities and elected officials.


More protection against targeted harassment towards human rights activists, dissidents, and journalists worldwide are also coming with the new Facebook changes. This is a welcome development since social media harassment has been weaponized to silence activists and journalists alike.


Private individuals are already covered by policies that are already existing.

Coordinated harassment, which happens when a particular group of individuals essentially bully a certain user, will now be banned by Facebook as well. This applies to all users regardless of gender, position, or location.


“We do not allow bullying and harassment on our platform,” Facebook head of global safety Antigone Davis wrote in a blog regarding the matter, “but when it does happen, we act. Public figures shouldn’t be subjected to degrading or sexualised attacks.”


The company is also looking to block sexualised and/or derogatory images and drawings that were digitally altered, alongside negative physical descriptions tagging an account as a form of attack.


“Degrading content depicting individuals in the process of bodily functions” will be banned as well, Davis’ post stated.


Blocking will also happen to adversarial and state-linked networks of accounts, pages, and groups that are working to silence or harass people. All these changes are a response to criticism regarding the company’s mishandling of negative content, hate speech, and misinformation.

Photo: ABC13


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