Facebook just announced another set of changes to bring bullying on its platforms under control and, we have to admit, they’re somewhat interesting from a user standpoint.
For one, the platform is going to make it much harder for people to send mass hate to accounts of any kind. This means that people who become the subjects of viral videos, news stories, or some other form of “sudden celebrity” should be somewhat protected from harassment once these changes go into place.
Another shift, and one that tackles something that’s been around since you could share edited photos on the Internet, is the company’s ban on “sexualized” imagery of public figures including Photoshopped photos.
The company will remove “severe” sexualizing content, profiles, pages, and groups dedicated to objectifying said public figure, and derogatory “Photoshopped images and drawings.” Content with abusive hashtags or depicting the “bodily functions” of said figures will also be removed.
From their announcement:
“In addition, we will remove unwanted sexualized commentary and repeated content which is sexually harassing. Because what is ‘unwanted’ can be subjective, we’ll rely on additional context from the individual experiencing the abuse to take action. We made these changes because attacks like these can weaponize a public figure’s appearance, which is unnecessary and often not related to the work these public figures represent.”
As we mentioned, Facebook will also make “mass targeting” and “mass harassment” on its platforms much harder with a promise to “ban” groups, pages, and profiles devoted to that kind of activity.
This will focus on targeted political dissidents, figures, and the like as well as ferret out “state-based” initiatives to flood social media platforms with content touting a particular agenda or harassing a specific individual. Basically, Facebook is trying really hard to make it as difficult as possible to weaponize its platforms against people. And this isn’t the end of reforms; the company is actively seeking input from community stakeholders about proposed changes as well as modifications or future reforms that could be made.
For photographers, the platform might want to clarify hashtags and granting firms “ownership” rights by using a hashtag (like in a story we covered yesterday), among other things.
What do you think of Facebook’s massive push to end bullying on its platform? Destined for failure or long overdue? What protections would you like to see put in place for photographers specifically? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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