Facebook will now count activists and journalists as ''involuntary'' public figures and so increase protections against harassment and bullying targeted at those groups, its global safety chief said in an interview this week.

The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, says it is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and ''human rights defenders,'' who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their personas.

Facebook is under widespread 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 US Senate hearing last week.

Facebook also differentiates between public figures and private individuals in the protections it affords around online discussion : for instance, users are generally allowed to call for the death of a celebrity in discussions on the platform. [AFP]


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