Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomemediaFacebook will treat journalists, activists as public figures to limit harassment and...

Facebook will treat journalists, activists as public figures to limit harassment and bullying

Embattled tech giant Facebook will consider activists and journalists “involuntary” public figures in order to limited harassment and bullying against them on the social media platform, the company announced on Wednesday. 

Facebook’s “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,” according to Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis

“Public figures shouldn’t be subjected to degrading or sexualized attacks,” Davis added, noting that Facebook would now remove severe sexualized content, derogatory or sexualized photoshopped images and drawings, attacks through negative physical descriptions, and degrading content depicting individuals in the process of bodily functions. 

The company will alter the way it handles “involuntary” public figures including activists and journalists to offer them more protection going forward.  

FORMER TECH CEO: BOMBSHELL FACEBOOK REPORT PROVES POLICIES, PROCEDURES ‘JUST A RUSE TO DUPE THE PUBLIC’

“We also recognize that becoming a public figure isn’t always a choice, and that this fame can increase the risk of bullying and harassment — particularly if the person comes from an underrepresented community, including women, people of color or the LGBTQ community. Consistent with the commitments made in our corporate human rights policy, we’ll now offer more protections for public figures like journalists and human rights defenders who have become famous involuntarily or because of their work,” Davis wrote. 

“These groups will now have protections from harmful content, for example content that ranks their physical looks, as other involuntary public figures do,” Davis continued. “In updating our policies, we consulted a diverse set of global stakeholders including free speech advocates, human rights experts, women’s safety groups and our Women’s Safety Expert Advisors, cartoonists and satirists, female politicians and journalists, representatives of the LGBTIQ+ community, content creators and public figures.”

Facebook will determine who qualifies as an involuntary public figure on a case-by-case basis by its policy team. 

“The policy team will assess an involuntary public figure’s engagement with fame on a case-by-case basis, conducting analysis of social media presence (which may include things like high fan count, verification), or the person’s engagement with their fame through ongoing media engagements and public speaking,” a Facebook spokesperson told Fox News. 

FACEBOOK SAYS ITS RULES APPLY TO ALL. COMPANY DOCUMENTS REVEAL A SECRET ELITE THAT’S EXEMPT

When asked by Fox News how Facebook would define journalists, a spokesperson provided the following explanation. 

“A journalist is defined as someone who is currently employed by a newspaper, news website, or magazine to write publicly; OR someone who actively publishes content for a newspaper, news website, or magazine; OR someone who broadcasts news stories on radio or television; OR someone dedicated to writing or broadcasting news on social media/blog/website/podcast on a freelance basis,” the Facebook spokesperson said. 

As for activists, Facebook considers them anyone “who is directly associated with a cause or civil society organization or someone who actively participates in political, human rights, or social discourse,” according to the spokesperson. 

Facebook has been under a microscope in recent weeks after whistleblower Frances Haugen blasted her former employer before Congress and on “60 Minutes.” Haugen released documents showing what she called proof the company puts profits before user well-being through its algorithms. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report. 

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular