Facebook announces new tools to prevent harassment

By Anuj Sharma - December 20, 2017
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The social media giant has announced new features wherein Facebook will proactively recognise and help prevent unwanted contact like friend requests and messages when someone you blocked sets up a new....

Based on feedback from women and journalists that regularly use Facebook, the social media giant has announced new features wherein Facebook will proactively recognise and help prevent unwanted contact like friend requests and messages when someone you blocked sets up a new account or tries to contact you from another account they control.

Facebook will also provide with an option to ignore a Messenger conversation which will be automatically moved out of inbox, without the need to block the sender. This feature is now available for one on one conversations and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too.

The social network currently allows users to control what they share, who they share it with, and who can communicate with them which gives them additional ways to manage their experience on Facebook.

We all have at times come across or heard stories from our friends when they have blocked someone only to encounter the same harasser using a different account. In order to help prevent those bad encounters, Facebook is now taking strict measures to prevent fake and inauthentic accounts on Facebook.

According to Facebook, these automated features will help identify fake accounts more quickly and will block millions of them at registration every day. Additionally, Facebook says, sometimes a new account created by someone who was previously blocked might not get caught by these features.

Facebook is using various signals such as an IP address to proactively recognise these type of account and to prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account.

If someone is being harassed, there are times when blocking the abuser sometimes prompts additional harassment, particularly offline.

“We’ve also heard from groups that work with survivors of domestic violence that being able to see messages is often a valuable tool to assess if there is risk of additional abuse,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook has developed new resources for survivors of domestic violence in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. This is in addition to their work with more than 150 safety experts over the last year in India, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and the US to get feedback on ways to build a safer community online.

 

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