Facebook adds features to curb child exploitation content on its platform

The updates have come at a time when Facebook is facing criticism for its inability to curb harmful content on its platform.   | Photo Credit: AFP

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Facebook has added new features to curb child harassment and exploitation on its platform by focusing on content that victimises children. Child abuse content include posts on child nudity, sexual exploitation, inappropriate interactions with children and non-sexual child abuse.

The social network’s app will now display a pop-up when a user searches for terms associated with child exploitation. The pop-up will offer ways to get help from offender diversion organisations and share information about consequences of viewing illegal content.

The app will also send a safety alert that will inform users who share child exploitative content about the harm it can cause and warn them about Facebook’s policies.

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In its revised child safety policy, Facebook has clarified it will remove accounts, pages, groups and Instagram accounts that share images of children with inappropriate captions. “Under this new policy, while the images alone may not break our rules, the accompanying text can help us better determine whether the content is sexualising children,” Facebook stated.

The social network has also added an option for users to report any content that violates child safety policy by clicking “involves a child” under the “Nudity & Sexual Activity” category.

Between July and September last year, Facebook made improvements to its technology, allowing it to detect 12.4 million pieces of content exploiting and endangering children in that quarter. The number dropped to 5.4 million in the subsequent quarter.

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However, Facebook also noted that it may have missed some children-specific content since its media-matching technology in mid-November contained a glitch, which it is attempting to fix soon.

The updates come at a time when Facebook is facing criticism for its inability to curb harmful content on its platform.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 3:26:10 AM |

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