Facebook launches new policy, fund to support human rights

facebook new policy

facebook new policy

Facebook recently launched a corporate human rights policy and a fund with the aim of providing assistance to human rights defenders on the platform. The fund will support human rights defenders who are facing online threats and challenges as well as facilitate efforts to promote digital security. The tech giant has said that the human rights standards have been designed in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

In a recent blog post, Miranda Sissons, Director of Human Rights at Facebook, noted that the policy will guide how the tech conglomerate will apply human rights standards to all applications and other products across its business. Taking note of ongoing circumstances, Facebook has maintained that it is committed to respecting human rights in its business operations, product development, policies, and programming.

facebook policy for human rights 2
Director of Human Rights at Facebook, Miranda Sissons’s Blog Post

Sissons underlined that while billions of users are able to enjoy freedom of expression, right to education and access to information in the digital space, they can also face hate speech, bullying, harassment and violation of their privacy in the same space.

“We will report our most critical human rights issues, like risks to freedom of expression, to our Board of Directors,” she added in the blog.

It will further issue an annual public report on how it addressed various concerns people faced while using Facebook products, policies, or business practices.

“This yearly report will build on our existing practice of disclosing human rights impact assessments and detailed responses to recommendations,” she said.

Asserting that Facebook has been working on establishing various ways to support human rights defenders who are using the platform, Sissons noted that the fund will provide offline support to rights defenders facing critical online threats. The company will build on its existing framework to protect defenders’ accounts on its platform, she added.

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Among various digital security efforts employed by Facebook to protect human rights activists, some of them will include tackling malicious actors who are targeting rights defenders, using CrossCheck to protect them from incorrect content removals, providing advanced security options, measures to control unauthorised access to the accounts of defenders who are detained or arrested. At the same time, Facebook will collaborate with human rights organisations to design awareness and training campaigns.

Ahead of this development, Facebook and Instagram had banned the Myanmar military junta from using the platform last month in response to February 1 coup in the country. In its statement, the tech giant had said that the decision to ban the Myanmar army was taken due to “exceptionally severe human rights abuses and the clear risk of future military-initiated violence” in the country.

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