Facebook rolls out key safety tools to help protect users in Afghanistan

Brittany A. Roston - Aug 20, 2021, 3:28pm CDT
Facebook rolls out key safety tools to help protect users in Afghanistan

Facebook head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher recently revealed a series of new tools and safety features the company is rolling out for users in Afghanistan, citing the sudden and extreme changes in governance and the risk many people in the nation face. Among other things, the company will enable users in Afghanistan to rapidly lock down their accounts with a single click.

With the rapid Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, many people in the nation are now scrambling to wipe content from their social media profiles that may endanger their lives, including posts, videos, and photos. Afghans have reported instances of the Taliban stopping them to search their devices, including social media, for this kind of content.

Human rights organization workers criticized social media companies in a statement to NBC News recently, saying that these businesses are failing to help users in Afghanistan quickly and adequately purge risky content, including providing support documents in regional languages.

Amid this, Facebook has revealed that it is taking steps to help its users in the country by rolling out new features for Afghanistan accounts. There is, for example, a new one-click option that will lock down a Facebook profile, preventing people who aren’t friends from seeing their profile pictures and posts.

As well, Facebook has temporarily suspended the ability to search and view Friends lists in Afghanistan, reducing the ability for the Taliban to use the platform to target people. In his Twitter thread, Gleicher revealed that Facebook has also established a “special operations center” to deal with any new threats that may arise.


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