(IL) – Facebook has changed its rules to make journalists a protected class shielded from “bullying” and “harassment” (aka criticism), according to a report from Reuters.
Facebook Inc will now count activists and journalists as “involuntary” public figures and so increase protections against harassment and bullying targeted at these groups, its global safety chief said in an interview this week.
The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and “human rights defenders,” who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their public personas.
This means journos can smear people all over the media and then be shielded from criticism — which they call “bullying” and “harassment.”
Journos are “involuntary” public figures even though they chose to go into journalism and chose to work for smear merchants and write smear pieces.
Meanwhile, the private figures they dox and smear for as little as sharing memes making fun of Nancy Pelosi are somehow “public figures” and they can have their lives destroyed by multi-billion dollar media conglomerates with Facebook offering them zero protections.
In fact, as we saw with the day laborer who shared a slowed-down meme video of Nancy Pelosi in 2019, Facebook actively worked with the media to dox him and release the private, behind-the-scenes interactions of his account.
Earlier this year, Facebook said it would remove content celebrating, praising or mocking George Floyd’s death, because he was deemed an involuntary public figure.
Facebook’s Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said the company was also expanding the types of attacks that it would not allow on public figures on its sites, as part of an effort to reduce attacks disproportionately faced by women, people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Facebook will no longer allow severe and unwanted sexualizing content, derogatory sexualized photoshopped images or drawings or direct negative attacks on a person’s appearance, for example, in comments on a public figure’s profile.
Facebook has a blacklist of hundreds of right-wing media figures and media outlets they’ve deemed “dangerous individuals and organizations” for so-called “hate speech” and won’t allow anyone to “praise” or “support” them but journos and those Facebook deems a “protected class” are to be shielded from all criticism.