Facebook, the embattled social media platform, has implemented new anti-harassment policies.
As the social media giant confronts a crisis over its platforms’ potential downsides, Facebook introduced new safeguards against online attacks on journalists, activists, and celebrities on Wednesday.
Since a whistleblower disclosed internal studies revealing Facebook knew its sites could be harmful to young people’s mental health, the company has faced a barrage of criticism and a Senate panel hearing.
An ex-employee, Frances Haugen, said that the corporation prioritized revenues over the safety of its users.
“We do not accept bullying and harassment on our platform, but when it does happen, we act,” Facebook’s head of safety Antigone Davis wrote in announcing the additional safeguards.
Facebook’s list of prohibited “attacks” on public figures has been broadened to include a variety of sexual or humiliating photos of their bodies.
“Attacks like these can weaponize a public figure’s image,” Davis said in a session before lawmakers, defending the company’s work.
Journalists and human rights campaigners have also been added to Facebook’s list of those who are considered public figures because of their activities.
The new restrictions included halting coordinated efforts to utilize numerous identities to harass or intimidate persons who were regarded to be at high risk of danger in the real world, such as government dissidents and victims of horrific catastrophes.
Facebook will also begin eliminating state-linked and “adversarial networks” of accounts that “operate together to harass or suppress people” such as dissidents, according to Davis.
“We take down information that violates our policy and suspend the accounts of anyone who break our rules frequently,” she stated.
The papers obtained by Haugen, which were used to support a series of damning Wall Street Journal articles, have fueled one of Facebook’s most significant crises to date.
Haugen testified on the dangers of the social media giant’s platforms generating political divisiveness and self-dissatisfaction, which is especially detrimental for young people.
She hasn’t stopped pleading with authorities to control the network, which is used by roughly three billion people every day across the world.
Haugen was invited to a hearing by European MPs, and she was also slated to meet with Facebook’s supervisory board, a semi-independent body charged with assessing the network’s content regulations.
The leaked records and Haugen’s testimony have sparked outrage at Facebook, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg has yet to publicly say whether he will accept a Senate panel’s invitation to testify.