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Facebook to change rules on attacking public figures on its platforms

October 13

Fb will now rely activists and journalists as “involuntary” public figures and so improve protections towards harassment and bullying focused at these teams, its international security chief mentioned in an interview this week.

The social media firm, which permits extra crucial commentary of public figures than of personal people, says it’s altering its method on the harassment of journalists and “human rights defenders”, who it says are within the public eye resulting from their work reasonably than their public personas.

Fb is beneath wide-ranging scrutiny from international lawmakers and regulators over its content material moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with inner paperwork leaked by a whistleblower forming the idea for a US Senate listening to final week.

How Fb, which has about 2.8 billion month-to-month energetic customers, treats public figures and content material posted by or about these figures has been an space of intense debate. In latest weeks, the corporate’s “cross examine” system, which the Wall Road Journal reported has the impact of exempting some high-profile customers from traditional Fb guidelines, has been within the highlight.

Fb additionally differentiates between public figures and personal people within the protections it affords round on-line dialogue: for example, customers are typically allowed to name for the loss of life of a celeb in discussions on the platform.

The corporate declined to share an inventory of different involuntary public figures however mentioned they’re assessed on a case-by-case foundation. Earlier this yr, Fb mentioned it might take away content material celebrating, praising or mocking George Floyd’s loss of life, as a result of he was deemed an involuntary public determine.

Fb’s World Head of Security Antigone Davis mentioned the corporate was additionally increasing the sorts of assaults that it might not enable on public figures on its websites, as a part of an effort to cut back assaults disproportionately confronted by ladies, folks of shade and the LGBTQ neighborhood.

Fb will now not enable extreme and undesirable sexualizing content material, derogatory sexualized photoshopped photographs or drawings or direct detrimental assaults on an individual’s look, for instance, in feedback on a public determine’s profile.

—  Reuters

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