In brief: By its own admission, Facebook has a lot of problems. In addition to fake news, hacks, and extreme content, the platform is often used as a way of harassing others, but the company is fighting back against the practice by introducing new anti-bullying tools.
The social network announced it is giving users more control over how they interact with their posts on Facebook. One of the new features lets people delete or hide multiple comments at once from the options menu of a post. It’s already rolling out on Android and desktop and will arrive on iOS in the coming months.
For users who find one of their posts is being bombarded by offensive comments, for whatever reason, being able to erase/hide them all in one go should be less stressful than having to trawl through and individually delete each one.
If you see friends or family being targeted by harassers, Facebook now lets you report the bullying on their behalf. The report will be kept anonymous and reviewed by Facebook’s Community Operations team. Even if the content is deemed to be okay and isn’t removed, you can request a second review. People who have had comments removed, meanwhile, can appeal the decision.
Facebook is also testing a way for users to search for and block certain words from appearing in the comments, though it never said when this feature might arrive.
Facebook added that it is increasing its protections for public figures, who are often the subject of mass attacks on social media. Having expanded its policies to guard against harassment of young public figures earlier this year, it is further expanding these to cover public figures of all ages. As an example, it says “severe attacks” that directly engage these figures will no longer be allowed.
"We hope the additional steps we're taking will help people who face bullying and harassment on Facebook," said Facebook. "We know our job is never done when it comes to keeping people safe, and we'll continue listening to feedback on how we can build better tools and improve our policies."