Facebook announced on Oct. 13 that it would begin removing contents that sexualize and targets public figures. This is a part of the platform's update to its policy against harassment.

The new policy also includes coordinated attacks against other Facebook users, may it be through a page, group, or profile.

Facebook to Ban Celebrity Harassment

As part of the new policy update, the social media platform stated that it would remove any profiles, pages, events, and groups that are created to sexualize public figures, according to The Verge. 

The public figures protected by this new policy include politicians, celebrities, and content creators. The new policy bans any edits, photoshops, drawings, memes, and degrading content that sexualizes an individual, according to Antigone Davis, the global head of safety at Facebook.

Facebook also stated in a blog post that it would remove any commentary that sexualizes an individual and all attacks that harass a user.

Also Read: Facebook Hearing Wrap Up: FB Whistleblower Haugen's Testimony and Platform's Impact on Young Users' Mental Health

Davis added that public figures, whether they are journalists, celebrities, politicians, influencers, or creators, that use Instagram and Facebook to engage with their followers are protected by the new policy.

The social media platform made these changes because attacks like these can use a person's appearance, which is unnecessary and often not related to the work that the individual represents.

Facebook's policy announcement comes after Frances Haugen, the whistleblower, testified before Congress last week. On Oct. 12, the hearing focused on a series of reports posted by The Wall Street Journal.

The report revealed that the company's executives were aware of the harms that the platform could inflict on users, especially teenage girls. Haugen is expected to testify again before the UK Parliament before October ends.

The update also includes banning large and coordinated attacks on users that are at a risk of doing offline harm even if the posts don't violate the platform's content policies.

The update includes Facebook and Instagram posts and messages sent to those who have opposing political views, victims of attacks, and private individuals.

In September, Twitch added new tools to fight against creator harassment on the platform, including adding phone number verification options when chatting.

The streaming platform also announced changes to its email verification system to allow creators to have more control over the viewers that are using chat.

Users are also allowed up to five accounts to be linked to one phone number. This can limit the number of accounts that could be made to harass someone on the platform.

Facebook constantly updates its community guidelines since 2015 to ensure that all users are safe on the platform.

Fight Against Hate Raids

Aside from Facebook, Twitch added new tools to fight harassment on the platform. The social media company added phone verification chat controls. Also, it is changing the existing email verification settings to give users more control on who gets to reach them.

With the new tools, creators can send verification requirements for accounts ran by underage users.

For example, streamers can ask for a verified phone number from an account that is only less than a week old to activate the chat feature.

Streamers can also add exemptions to certain viewers like VIPs, subscribers, or moderators. By limiting the chat, Twitch can cut down on hate raids.

This is what Facebook is aiming to do, by banning pages, profiles, groups, and events, they believe it will cut down on harassment on the platform.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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