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Facebook has updated its policies on harassment and intimidation to be able to eliminate massive and coordinated attacks against vulnerable users also outside the social network, which includes greater protection for public figures against sexualizing content.

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The policies of Facebook now collect the possibility of eliminating content from multiple accounts that act in a coordinated way to attack “To people who are at greater risk of harm in the real world”, an action that they can take even if the content itself does not violate the platform’s guidelines.

The Director of Security, Antigone Davis, points out that this new measure seeks to protect people who have survived violent tragedies or are political dissidents, for example, as stated in the official blog.

The platform may also remove the “Objectionable content” mass that could be harassment against a specific person, that is, those publications that are made in personal spaces, such as direct messages or comments on the victim’s profile.

This second novelty, however, will require contextual information to be able to proceed with the elimination of said content. On the other hand, the company will eliminate what it calls “Conflicting account networks”, accounts that work together to harass or silence other users of the social network.

Protection for public figures

The policies of Facebook on harassment and intimidation distinguish between public figures and private individuals, as Davis points out, and attempts to balance open dialogue and freedom of expression with protection from abuse.

The company already takes action against attacks against public figures, but now it will reinforce its work in this area to eliminate unwanted sexualizing comments, sexual harassment, and content that sexualizes in a serious way.

In this framework, it will eliminate not only said content, but also accounts, pages, groups or events that are dedicated to sexualizing a public figure; images and drawings that have been edited to be sexualized or disparaging; attacks based on negative physical descriptions or that portray the biological needs of individuals.

“We make these changes because these types of attacks can cause the image of a public figure to become a weapon unnecessarily and is often unrelated to the work those figures represent”explains the directive.

The social network will also increase the protection of people who have become a public figure involuntarily or due to their work, as can happen with journalists or human rights activists. Davis notes that “Now they will have new protections against harmful content, such as that which describes their physical appearance”.

Source: Europa Press

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