Facebook will adopt new policies to address harassment targeting public figures


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The U.S. online social media and social networking service Facebook’s logo is shown on a laptop screen. Facebook has announced changes to its policies on online bullying.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images


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Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images


Technology
Facebook’s new whistleblower is renewing scrutiny of the social media giant

Concerns and allegations still remain over the site’s inability or reluctance to address misinformation.

Haugen has testified that the company stokes division among users by allowing disinformation on the platform to go unchecked.

She has shared her opinion that Facebook’s algorithms could be stoking tensions and fanning ethnic violence, particularly in Ethiopia. The country’s government and Tigray rebels have been engaged in a civil war.

Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine because of the conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels. Zecharias Zelalem, a journalist covering the region and its conflict, recently told NPR that «prominent Facebook posters would post unverified, often inflammatory posts or rhetoric that would then go on to incite mob violence, ethnic clashes, crackdowns on independent press or outspoken voices.»

«My fear is that without action, divisive and extremist behaviors we see today are only the beginning,» Haugen told Congress. «What we saw in Myanmar and are now seeing in Ethiopia are only the opening chapters of a story so terrifying, no one wants to read the end of it.»

Editor’s note: Facebook is among NPR’s financial supporters.

  • Frances Haugen
  • harassment
  • Facebook

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