Facebook Releases Feature to Fight Online Harassment

Apps and Software

Photo via PEXELS

Facebook has just released a new feature to prevent harassment and unwanted contact from people that users have blocked.

Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis says that the tool is geared to recognize when someone a user has blocked creates a new account or attempts to contact him or her from a different account.

With the new feature, users may opt to ignore a chat thread in Messenger and move it from their inbox to the Filtered Messages folder, even without blocking the sender. They may also read messages in the conversation while remaining unseen to the sender. Davis says that while the feature is available now for one-on-one conversations, it will eventually be rolled out for group messages as well.

In addition, the social media company states that it is also improving existing features that help prevent the proliferation of dummy accounts. Davis explains that "these automated features help us identify fake accounts more quickly and block millions of them at registration every day."

She further states that Facebook is using signals, such as IP addresses, in order to help the social media identify fake accounts and keep them from sending messages or friend requests to the people who have previously blocked their original accounts.

"The person who blocked the original account is in control, and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally," says Davis.

With this new release, the social media company aims to prevent online harassment, especially for women and journalists who are experiencing the most harassment on social media.