As part of a new update to its bullying and harassment policy, Facebook has stated that it will begin eliminating “severe sexualizing content” targeted at public figures.
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would remove any profiles, pages, groups, or events dedicated to sexualizing public figures, such as celebrities, politicians, and content creators, as part of the new policy change. According to Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, the new policy prohibits sexualized photoshops and drawings, as well as any humiliating content “in the process of physiological functions.”
Facebook also stated that it would remove “unwanted sexualized commentary” as well as repeated sexual harassment attacks.
In addition to the policy changes, users will be subjected to coordinated harassment campaigns.
“Public people, whether politicians, journalists, entertainers, or creators,” Davis said in a blog post on Wednesday, “use Facebook and Instagram to communicate directly with their fans.” “We made these modifications because attacks like these can be used to weaponize the look of public people, which is unnecessary and often unrelated to the work that these public figures represent.”
Whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress last week, prompting the announcement. The hearing was centered on a series of Wall Street Journal publications that demonstrated Facebook officials were aware of the risks their network may pose to users, particularly minors. Later this month, Haugen is scheduled to speak before the UK Parliament.