Facebook on Wednesday announced a tightening of its rules against online harassment, as the social media giant struggles to convince authorities and public opinion of its positive role in society.
“We do not allow harassment on our platform and when it does, we take action“, assured Antigone Davis, director of security for the group, in a statement.
The Californian firm, already heavily criticized by many authorities and NGOs, saw its reputation again tarnished by the revelations of a whistleblower, a former engineer who leaked documents to the press and was auditioned by a US parliamentary committee.
According to Frances Haugen, Facebook and its applications, including Instagram, convey “profits before security” users.
Remove private messages or comments
The company now intends to tackle “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 may also remove private messages or comments, depending on the context and additional information.
Facebook also wants to better protect public figures (politicians, celebrities …), by adding a new category to the list of bans, which mainly revolve around the sexualization of these people. “We will remove sexualizing comments that qualify as harassment“, based on the context provided by individuals, said Antigone Davis.