The social network Facebook, announced to strengthen its rules against harassment, at a time when the platform is criticized by human rights NGOs following information leaked by a whistleblower.
As her reputation was heavily tarnished by the revelations of a former employee, Facebook decided to tighten its rules against online harassment.
“We do not allow harassment on our platform and when it happens, we act,” said Antigone Davis, director of security for the group, in a statement.
Facebook promises to fight “coordinated mass harassment efforts targeting particularly vulnerable individuals in the real world, such as victims of violent tragedies or political dissidents – even if the content itself does not violate our policy.”
The social network intends to delete even private messages or comments depending on the context and additional information. The announcements come as Frances Haugen, a former employee who became a whistleblower, revealed questionable social media practices as Facebook seeks to show its positive role in society.
The former product engineer said she has evidence that Facebook puts users’ “profits before safety” and that it practices tailor-made moderation for a few million VIP users, in addition to reports demonstrating the Instagram’s harmful role for the mental health of its young users such as adolescents who see themselves influenced by influencers who project a false image of beauty and the perfect female body.
“We will remove sexualizing comments that amount to harassment,” based on the context provided by the individuals, Antigone Davis said. In addition, journalists and human rights defenders have also become “public figures” and they will be “protected from offensive content, for example messages that classify them according to their physical appearance”.