Facebook announces policy updates against online bullying and mass harassment
Facebook has recently announced updates to its bullying and harassment policies, aiming to protect users from mass harassment and intimidation.
According to Facebook, they will now remove coordinated efforts of mass harassment that target individuals at heightened risk of offline harm.
They will also remove objectionable content that is considered mass harassment towards any individual on personal surfaces, such as direct messages in inbox or comments on personal profiles or posts. Further, they will require additional information or context to enforce this new policy.
In addition, Facebook will also remove state-linked and adversarial networks of accounts, Pages, and Groups that work together to harass or silence people, such as a state-sponsored organization using closed private groups to coordinate mass posting on dissident profiles.
The platform noted that public figures — whether they’re politicians, journalists, celebrities, or creators — use Facebook and Instagram to engage directly with their followers.
“We’re always trying to strike the right balance between protecting them from abuse and allowing open dialogue about them on our apps. Our bullying and harassment policy differentiates between public figures and private individuals to enable freedom of expression and legitimate public discourse around those in the public eye,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook will now also remove the following:
• Severe sexualizing content
• Profiles, Pages, groups, or events dedicated to sexualizing the public figure
• Derogatory, sexualized photoshopped images and drawings
• Attacks through negative physical descriptions that are tagged to, mention, or posted on the public figure’s account
• Degrading content depicting individuals in the process of bodily functions
Facebook consulted a diverse set of global stakeholders including free speech advocates, human rights experts, women’s safety groups and our Women’s Safety Expert Advisors, cartoonists and satirists, female politicians and journalists, representatives of the LGBTIQ+ community, content creators and public figures in updating their policies.