Meta will close the loophole in its doxxing policy in response to the Supervisory Board

Meta to change some of its rules around doxxing in response to recommendations from the Supervisory Board. The first company asked the Supervisory Board its rules last June, saying the policy was “critical and difficult.” The Board of Directors made 17 recommendations for the company which Meta has now considered.

Unlike decisions on whether specific posts should be taken down or upheld, Meta reserves the right to completely ignore policy recommendations from the Board of Supervisors, but is obligated to respond to individual suggestions. .

One of the most notable changes is that Meta has agreed to end an exception to its existing rules that allow users to post private residential information if it is made “public” elsewhere. The Board of Supervisors has shown that there is a significant difference between obtaining data from a public records request and a viral social media post.

In Friday’s response, Meta agreed to remove the exception from its policy. “As the board notes in this recommendation, removing the exception for ‘public’ private residential information could limit the availability of this information on Facebook and Instagram while it remains in the public domain. publicly available elsewhere,” the company wrote. Meta added that the policy change will be implemented “by the end of the year.”

While the company ended up making an exception, it agreed to relax its policy on another matter. Meta says users will be able to share exterior photos of private homes “when the property is described as the focus of a news story, unless shared in the context of organizing protests against resident.” Likewise, the company also agreed that it would allow users to share the addresses of “senior” government officials if the real estate is officially public residence, like those approved by the government. used by heads of state and ambassadors.

Policy changes can have a significant impact on those facing harassment, while allowing some information to be shared in the context of news stories or anti-government protests. elected officials.

The Board of Directors has also recommended that Meta improve the way users report privacy violations and how reports are handled internally. On the reporting front, Meta says it has begun testing a simpler method for reporting privacy intrusions. Previously, users had to “click through two menus” and manually search for “violation of privacy,” but now the option appears without further searching. Meta says it will have results from the test “later this month” when it will decide whether to make the change permanent.

Notably, Meta declined to make another change that could make it easier for scam victims to get help quickly. The company said that it would not act on the recommendation that it “create a specific communication channel for victims of doxing” regardless of whether they are a Facebook user or not. Meta notes that it has been testing some help features, but said it “couldn’t commit to building a dedicated doxing channel”.

Meta also failed to commit to a board recommendation that doxxing should be classified as a “severe” violation resulting in a temporary suspension. The company said it was “evaluating the feasibility” of the proposal and “exploring ways to incorporate elements of the proposal.”

In addition to the content of the policy changes, Meta’s response to the Supervisory Board in this case is notable as it represents the first time the company has requested , received recommendations and gave feedback. Typically, boards weigh specific moderation decisions, which can then impact underlying policies. But Meta can also ask for help shaping broader rules, like it did with doxxing. The company has also asked for help in creating the surrounding rules system.

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