Facebook updates its bullying policy
The announcement, very timely, comes on the day that in the US is dedicated to the prevention and awareness of bullying.
And it comes from the most important social platform, Facebook. That he will adopt against bullying and online intimidation stricter measures to protect two categories that are certainly very different from each other. But they share the fact that they are the target of single unpleasant interventions when not real hate campaigns. We are talking about public figures and minorities. This last word must be understood in a broad sense, referring to groups of people who are under-represented or considered weaker and less protected, for reasons of a sexual nature but also ethnic, political, religious or economic.
Let’s find out how Facebook will strengthen anti-bullying rules. And let’s see how other social networks have in recent days faced an increasingly topical problem on social media, virtual places where offenders act in the belief that they will remain anonymous and unpunished.
Bullying: the new Facebook rules
Antigone Davis, the company’s Global Head of Safety, explains how Facebook will take action against bullying. Davis says in the post that “coordinated actions of mass harassment targeting individuals at greater risk of offline harm, such as victims of tragedy or government dissidents, will be removed, even if the content alone does not violate our policies.”
Particular attention will be paid to the protection of public figures. Who are often not only offended, but are also victims of sexual harassment, such as the dissemination of retouched images in a derogatory or offensive sense.
It is also Antigone Davis who explains that “becoming a public figure is not always a choice, and 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 “.
The help of the experts
In a note, Facebook makes it known that the anti-bullying rules have been updated thanks to the advice of a team of experts. with free speech advocates and women’s safety groups, content creators and public figures. The social network “will continue to work with experts and listen to community members to ensure that our platforms remain secure”.
On the ad hoc page in Italian we read that “our strategy relies on teams of experts who monitor reports of bullying and intimidation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 50 languages and technologies that have allowed us to act on 8 ‘8 million contents, by removing 54% of the contents that constituted bullying in advance ”.
The delicate moment for Facebook
This move by Facebook against bullying comes at a time that is proving delicate on several fronts for Zuckerberg’s creature.
The first jolt, the consequences of which still seem far from extinguishing, was given by former employee Frances Haugen. You that you, in a nutshell, you told 60 Minutes that the company “prefers profits to safety”. Even in several of our articles, in fact, we have noticed the fluctuating attitude of Facebook towards fake news, as if on the one hand it censors and on the other it tolerates, to guarantee the usual breadth of the audience.
Then last October 4th it was the turn of the social downtime, which also heavily hit the Menlo Park platform.
Finally, and it is very fresh news, the Irish Privacy Authority has suggested a financial penalty to Facebook for having circumvented the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
TikTok and the 81 million videos removed
Intanother platform, TikTok, has announced the outcome of an update on content moderation. From April to June of this year, the social network removed, to be precise, 81,518,334 videos, equal to approximately 1% of the total.
Contents deemed to be harmful to the terms of the service have been and are automatically eliminated by an algorithm. That is, presenting nudity, sexual activity, violent or illegal acts. The work of the algorithm is accompanied by a control by a team of professionals.
The scourge of cyberbullying
Cyberbullying, with its many forms, is a widespread phenomenon in a worrying way on social networks and more generally on the Net.
There are many recent reports whose results cannot fail to cause concern. If we take for example only the area of crimes against minors, we discover how an analysis by the Postal Police conducted last May tells us that the set of different categories of these crimes (including child ***********, online solicitation, sexual extortion, revenge **** , cyberbullying and scams) in 2020 increased by as much as 70%.
It goes without saying that social media rules, however strict, can only play a small part. The rest would touch on civic education, a subject whose breadth and importance are definitely beyond the scope of this article.