Facebook on Wednesday released new rules against online attacks on journalists, activists and celebrities, as the social media giant fights a crisis over potential damage to its platforms.
The head of security Facebook, Antigone Davis, announced new protection policies. “We don’t allow bullying and harassment on our platform, but when it happens, we act”, he warned.
Facebook expanded its range of prohibited “attacks” on public figures to include a range of sexual or degrading images of their bodies.
Davis, who defended the company’s work in a hearing before legislators, stressed that “attacks like these can turn the appearance of a public figure into a weapon.”
Facebook also added journalists and human rights defenders to the list of people considered public figures for their work.
The new policies include hampering coordinated efforts to use multiple accounts to harass or intimidate people considered to be at higher risk of harm in the real world, such as government dissidents and victims of violent tragedies.
Davis said that Facebook will also begin to eliminate “opposition networks” and networks linked to the state that “work together to harass or silence people”, such as dissidents.
“We remove content that violates our policies and disable the accounts of people who repeatedly violate our rules.”, wrote.
The company has faced a storm of criticism and a Senate hearing since Frances Haugen, a former employee of the company, leaked internal studies showing that Facebook knew that its sites could be harmful to the mental health of young people.
The complainant alleged that the leading social network put profits before the safety of its users.
Documents filtered by Haugen, which sustained a series of scathing Wall Street Journal stories, have fueled one of the gravest crises in Facebook till the date.
In your testimony, Haugen He pointed to the risks that the social media giant’s platforms are fueling the political divide and self-dissatisfaction, which is particularly dangerous for young people.
Haugen It has not given up its intention of asking the authorities to regulate the network frequented daily by nearly three billion people around the world.
European legislators have invited Haugen to an audience and is also scheduled to meet with Facebook’s supervisory board, a semi-independent body responsible for evaluating the network’s content policies.
The leaked documents and the testimony of Haugen have provoked a strong rejection of Facebook, but its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has not publicly said whether it will accept an invitation from the Senate to answer their questions.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.