Facebook has announced it will be enforcing new rules to the platform that aim to remove content which sexually harasses celebrities and public figures.
The social media giant Facebook has announced it will be removing ‘severe sexualizing content’ that is directed at public figures. The new focus on removing content of this nature is part of the platform’s new bullying and harassment policies, which have been updated.
Making the announcement on National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Day in the US on Wednesday, October 13, was Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Facebook, who released a blog post outlining the new initiative and what it entails.
‘Public figures – whether they’re politicians, journalists, celebrities or creators – use Facebook and Instagram to engage directly with their followers,’ Davis outlined in the blog post. ‘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.’
Davis went on to describe why these types of attacks can be harmful and deserving of removal. ‘We made these changes because attacks like these can weaponize a public figure’s appearance,’ David said, ‘which is unnecessary and often not related to the work these public figures represent.’
The new focus on removing content of this nature will be directed toward certain types of posts, like sexualized images created on Photoshop, drawings or content that focuses on ‘the process of bodily functions’.
Along with removing content, Facebook announced it ‘will also remove state-linked and adversarial networks of accounts, Pages and Groups that work together to harass or silence people, for example a state-sponsored organization using closed private groups to coordinate mass posting on dissident profiles’.
The new policy follows Facebook’s increased public scrutiny that was heightened last week when a whistleblower testified before Congress. The whistleblower revealed that Facebook executives allegedly were aware of the harmful aspects of its platform.
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