Facebook says it has introduced new anti-harassment controls designed to protect people – especially public figures – who are harassed by multiple accounts at once.

The social network says they are ahead of new options to control comments on Facebook, and new limits and filtering options for comments on Instagram owned by Facebook.

“We will now remove more harmful content that attacks public figures, and provide more protections for public figures who have unwittingly become famous – such as human rights defenders and journalists,” wrote Antigone Davis, global head of security. from Facebook in a blog post. Morning.

The move follows a number of recent examples of out-of-control activity in Facebook comment sections.

Live comments under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s official Facebook Live feed have been repeatedly dominated by anti-vaccines abusing the Prime Minister and spreading disinformation about Covid-19.

And earlier this month, Seven Sharp co-host Hilary Barry, who was leading a chocolate fish reward campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated, posted screenshots of the hail in the sky. personal abuse she received from anti-vaccine on Facebook and Twitter. Many abusive comments also contained disinformation about the pandemic. Barry earlier pointed out the repeated sexist abuse she receives on Facebook.

On September 28, Facebook removed Instagram for Kids. The “hiatus” of the new platform, launched in March, came just days after a series of Wall Street Journal surveys that reported that Facebook was aware, through its own internal research, that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls was causing mental disorders. health problems and anxiety.

The Wall Street Journal series was based on internal Facebook documents leaked to the newspaper by an anonymous former employee.

The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, later revealed her identity to the New York Times. And on October 5, she told a US Senate committee, “The documents I have provided to Congress prove that Facebook has repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals about child safety, the effectiveness of its artificial intelligence systems and its role. in the dissemination of conflicting and extreme messages. “

Facebook says Haugen’s claims are misleading.

Speaking to the media after Haugen’s testimony, Facebook vice president of policy and public affairs Nick Clegg said, “Even with the most sophisticated technology, which I think we are deploying, even with the dozens. thousands of people we employ to try to maintain security. and integrity on our platform, we will never be absolutely above that 100% of the time. “

This is because of the “instant and spontaneous form of communication” on Facebook, Clegg said, adding, “I think we are doing more than any reasonable person can expect.”

While Facebook’s latest anti-harassment policy targets public figures, the social network also reiterated today that it offers options for reporting comments to all users.

If a Facebook user does not receive a response, their options include complaining to the Department of Justice and Netsafe, supported by the Department of Education, which has open lines of communication to Facebook and other platforms. social media.

Netsafe also manages the civil complaint process which is the first step towards legal action under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

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This notice was published: 2021-10-13 21:59:03


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