Facebook fights bullying, harassment with new tools

Facebook is adding several new tools in its ongoing battle against bullying and harassment on the platform.

Users will soon be able to hide or delete multiple comments at once from their posts—since comments are often used to harass or bully—Facebook said in a Tuesday blog post. The feature is coming to desktops and Android this month and will arrive on iOS in the coming months.

Second, users will now be able to report harassment or bullying on behalf of another user via a menu above the concerning post. The tech giant’s Community Operations team will then review the post, keep the user’s report anonymous and figure out if it violates the company’s wide-ranging Community Standards.

Facebook’s users will also now be able to appeal if their content has been taken down due to harassment and bullying, essentially requesting a second review. Also, if a user has reported content for bullying and the social network did not remove it, they can then appeal that decision for another review.

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Lastly, the tech firm is providing better protection for public figures on the platform.

“In the coming weeks, we will further expand our policies to better protect public figures against harassment regardless of age. For example, severe attacks that directly engage a public figure will not be allowed under the new policy,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, said in the blog post.

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Facebook also recently partnered with the National Parent Teachers Association in the U.S. to hold 200 community events across the country to discuss a wide range of tech challenges facing parents and their kids, including bullying and how to prevent it.

According to the Cyberbulling Research Center, approximately 27 percent of students in the U.S. that they have studied over a ten year period said they had been cyberbullied at some point in their lifetimes.