Tired of spam messages, friend requests? Here's what Facebook's doing

ANI | Updated: Dec 20, 2017 10:52 IST

New York [USA], Dec 20 (ANI): Amid increasing social media spamming and cyber bullying being reported across the globe, Facebook announced a series of tools to prevent harassment on the platform and in Messenger, in addition to the ongoing efforts to build a safe community.

Taking cognisance of the feedback Facebook has received in the recent past, the firm decided to take up the matter more stringently by introducing new tools to curb users from receiving spam messages and friend requests.

A major update is the introduction of a tool that can help proactively recognise and help prevent unwanted contact like friend requests and messages, especially when someone you blocked is attempting to reach out to you through a new account or tries to contact you from another account they control.

Along with this, Facebook has created an option to ignore a Messenger conversation and automatically move it out of your inbox, without having to block the sender.

"We already prohibit bullying and harassment on Facebook, and people can let us know when they see something concerning or have a bad experience. We review reports and take action on abuse, like removing content, disabling accounts, and limiting certain features like commenting for people who have violated our Community Standards. People can also control what they share, who they share it with, and who can communicate with them. These new features for personal profiles give people additional ways to manage their experience on Facebook," said Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, Facebook in a blog post.

In terms of fake account holders and regular spammers, Facebook's new automated features help identify fake accounts more quickly and block millions of them at registration every day.

However, sometimes a new account created by someone who was previously blocked might not get caught by these features. For this, the firm is using various signals (like an IP address) to help recognise these accounts and prevent its owners from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account. 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, Facebook added.

On the other hand, to block unwanted messages, the user can tap on a message to ignore the conversation. This disables notifications and moves the conversation from the inbox to a 'Filtered Messages' folder. The user can read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they've been read. This feature is now available for one-on-one conversations, and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too.

"We have convened roundtables with the Facebook Journalism Project to learn more about the unique experiences of the journalist community on Facebook. This culminated in the features we're making available today, as well as resources for journalists to help them protect themselves on Facebook," said Davis.

Facebook is also working with experts in a variety of fields to provide safety resources to people. This is in addition to the work done with more than 150 safety experts over the last year in India, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and the US to get feedback on ways to improve. (ANI)