Facebook to change rules on attacking public figures

Public figures will now get more protection from Facebook on its platforms.

In an update to its bullying and harassment policies, the social media giant announced Wednesday it will now remove “severe sexualizing content” targeting public figures on Facebook and instagram.

Politicians, celebrities, and now those who “have become famous involuntarily or because of their work” such as activists and journalists will be among those protected.

The content listed by the company includes Profiles, Pages, groups or events dedicated to sexualizing the public figure, as well as derogatory, sexualized photoshopped images, drawings, and more.

Facebook's Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said it was part of an effort to reduce attacks disproportionately faced by women, people of color and the LGBTQ community.

Additionally, as part of the anti-harassment policy update, Facebook will now also remove coordinated efforts of mass harassment that target individuals at "heightened risk of offline harm," like victims of violent tragedies or government dissidents.

This news comes as the social media giant faces wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.

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