Facebook Whistleblower | Facebook Tightened Guidelines In The Fight Against Online Bullying

The online group Facebook wants to protect some of its users from "mass bullying and intimidation". For example, celebrities and activists should be helped.

The standing of criticism online corporate Facebook tightened its policies in the fight against online bullying . Users who are particularly at risk, such as victims of violence or government critics, are to be protected from "mass bullying and intimidation" through coordinated action by other users, as the social network announced. Such a coordinated approach should also be prevented if the content itself does not violate the Facebook guidelines.

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The group also wants to improve the protection of well-known users such as politicians, celebrities and artists. Content with "degrading or sexualized attacks" should be deleted. This includes, among other things, photos with a sexual message that have been edited with programs such as Photoshop or disparaging remarks about the appearance.

The protection should also apply to those who have not willingly become known, such as human rights activists or journalists, as announced by Facebook. In such cases, bullying often affects women, PoCs and members of the queer community.

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Facebook after revelations under pressure to act

In the past, Facebook has repeatedly been accused of not taking sufficient action against the spread of hate messages and bullying on its platforms. Most recently, revelations by the whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen caused a stir. Haugen accuses her ex-employer of putting his own profits above the safety of his users and the common good. Facebook has firmly denied the allegations.

However, in the course of the revelations, the group also presented new functions with which children and young people are to be better protected. Facebook's Vice President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, presented two new features on a talk show. On Instagram, adolescents should be encouraged to take a break. They should also be advised if they frequently look at the same content that was not rated as appropriate.

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According to Haugen's statements, several politicians had spoken out in favor of stricter rules for Facebook. The revelations demonstrated "how urgently we need strong and effective regulation of social networks in Europe," said Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD to the editorial network Germany).   

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