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Facebook has new tools to prevent unwanted friend requests and messages


Facebook, like every social media platform, has issues with harassment and bullying. In order to prevent certain types of harassment, Facebook is introducing some new features to help prevent unwanted friend requests and messages.

“We’ve heard stories from people who have blocked someone only to encounter the same harasser using a different account,” Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis wrote on Facebook’s blog. “In order to help prevent those bad encounters, we are building on existing features that prevent fake and inauthentic accounts on Facebook.”

Let’s say you block someone and then that person decides to create another account so they can contact you. With these new tools in place, Facebook is aiming to recognize when someone does that and prevent them from sending a message or friend request to you. Facebook is using signals, like IP addresses, to recognize when someone has created a fake or inauthentic 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,” Davis wrote.

Facebook has also released a feature to ignore conversations, which disables notifications from the conversation and moves the conversation into your filtered messages folder.

Once in the filtered messages folder, you can read the conversation without the sender being able to know if you’ve read it. This is currently available for one-on-one messages and will be available for group messages soon, according to the blog post.

Facebook says it has worked with experts in a variety of fields to offer safety resources for people on Facebook. In the blog post, Davis said the company has worked with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and worked to learn more about the experiences of journalists on Facebook.

Earlier this month, Facebook unveiled its own internal policies around harassment and bullying. Facebook also outlined its investigation process in response to reports of harassment or bullying.

Megan Rose Dickey

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