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Facebook: Protecting Our Community from Abuse on Instagram

Today, we’re announcing new features to help protect people from abuse on Instagram: The ability for people to limit comments and DM requests during spikes of increased attention Stronger warnings when people try to post potentially offensive comments The global rollout of our Hidden Words feature, which allows people to filter abusive DM requests  We…

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Today, we’re announcing new features to help protect people from abuse on Instagram:

  • The ability for people to limit comments and DM requests during spikes of increased attention
  • Stronger warnings when people try to post potentially offensive comments
  • The global rollout of our Hidden Words feature, which allows people to filter abusive DM requests 

We have a responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe when they’re on Instagram. We don’t allow hate speech or bullying on Instagram, and we remove it whenever we find it. We also want to protect people from having to experience this abuse in the first place, which is why we’re constantly listening to feedback from experts and our community, and developing new features to give people more control over their experience on Instagram, and help protect them from abuse. 

Easily Preventing Unwanted Comments and DMs with Limits

Screenshot of Limits

To help protect people when they experience or anticipate a rush of abusive comments and DMs, we’re introducing Limits: a feature that’s easy to turn on, and will automatically hide comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow you, or who only recently followed you. 

We developed this feature because creators and public figures sometimes experience sudden spikes of comments and DM requests from people they don’t know. In many cases this is an outpouring of support — like if they go viral after winning an Olympic medal. But sometimes it can also mean an influx of unwanted comments or messages. Now, you can turn on Limits and avoid it.

Our research shows that a lot of negativity towards public figures comes from people who don’t actually follow them, or who have only recently followed them, and who simply pile on in the moment. We saw this after the recent Euro 2020 final, which resulted in a significant and unacceptable spike in racist abuse towards players. Creators also tell us they don’t want to switch off comments and messages completely; they still want to hear from their community and build those relationships. Limits allows you to hear from your long-standing followers, while limiting contact from people who might only be coming to your account to target you.

Limits will be available to everyone on Instagram globally from today. Go to your privacy settings to turn it on or off, whenever you want. We’re also exploring ways to detect when you may be experiencing a spike in comments and DMs so that we can prompt you to turn on Limits. 

Showing Stronger Warnings to Discourage Harassment

Screenshot of warning when someone tried to post a potentially offensive comment

We already show a warning when someone tries to post a potentially offensive comment. And if they try to post potentially offensive comments multiple times, we show an even stronger warning — reminding them of our Community Guidelines and warning them that we may remove or hide their comment if they proceed. Now, rather than waiting for the second or third comment, we’ll show this stronger message the first time.

Combating Abuse in DMs and Comments

To help protect people from abuse in their DM requests, we recently announced Hidden Words, which allows you to automatically filter offensive words, phrases and emojis into a Hidden Folder, that you never have to open if you don’t want to. It also filters DM requests that are likely to be spammy or low-quality. We launched this feature in a handful of countries earlier this year, and it will be available for everyone globally by the end of this month. We’ll continue to encourage accounts with large followings to use it, with messages both in their DM inbox and at the front of their Stories tray.

We’ve expanded the list of potentially offensive words, hashtags and emojis that we automatically filter out of comments, and will continue updating it frequently. We recently added a new opt-in option to Hide More Comments that may be potentially harmful, even if they may not break our rules.

Continuing the Fight Against Online Abuse

We hope these new features will better protect people from seeing abusive content, whether it’s racist, sexist, homophobic or any other type of abuse. We know there’s more to do, including improving our systems to find and remove abusive content more quickly, and holding those who post it accountable. We also know that, while we’re committed to doing everything we can to fight hate on our platform, these problems are bigger than us. We will continue to invest in organizations focused on racial justice and equity, and look forward to further partnership with industry, governments and NGOs to educate and help root out hate. This work remains unfinished, and we’ll continue to share updates on our progress.

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Facebook: Recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day

As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page…

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As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page to spread awareness and share local recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

In addition to providing community to people with disabilities, we’re also working to make the digital world more accessible. 

We will demonstrate our latest accessibility features today at our annual Accessibility Summit. Join us at 10:00AM PT for this livestream on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page. In addition to product demos and updates, we will host an interview with Molly Burke, a digital creator and blind advocate.

Through a video series on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page, we’re highlighting how people with disabilities connect and build communities through our technologies, much like Carly. We’ve created both the captioned and audio described versions of these stories.

Today, we’re recapping advances we’ve made over the past year to make our technologies more inclusive. 

Meta Quest

  • Audio Accessibility
    • Audio balance: This option enables you to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels for comfort, and to better match your ability to hear in each ear. 
    • Mono Audio enables you to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers on your headset. 
    • You’ll find both features under the Accessibility tab in your headset’s Settings menu.

Product mock of audio accessibility on Meta Quest

  • Adjust Height  
    • This feature allows you to experience VR from a “standing” vantage point even while reclining or seated. This can improve the VR experience for people who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility or are unable to use the Quest headset while standing. 
    • We first introduced this as an experimental feature (called Raise View) last June and have now made it permanent after receiving positive feedback from the disability community. 
    • You can find this feature in the Accessibility tab in Quest’s Settings menu.

Portal

  • Video relay service (VRS)
    • In December, we began supporting video relay service (VRS) applications on Portal  for people who use American Sign Language (ASL), through a collaboration with ZP Better Together.
    • Through the ZP apps on Portal and human interpreters, people who use American Sign Language can now easily communicate in both English and Spanish. 
    • Portal’s unique AI-powered camera always keeps you in frame and in focus, even when you’re moving, so your face and hands can always be seen.
  • Captions
    • We’ve also added customizable closed captions for streamed content on TV and Touch, as well as added support for live captions into integrated work productivity apps Zoom and Workplace Live.

Instagram

  • Auto-generated captions for Feed videos
    • In March, we introduced auto-generated captions for Feed videos on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi and Japanese to start. 
    • More importantly, captions are automatically turned on by default when a creator uploads a video to their Feed. Over 140 million videos were created with auto-generated captions in the last 30 days.
    • Creators retain the ability to turn captions off when they choose and viewers can turn captions on or off using on-screen controls.

Product mock of Instagram auto-generated captions

Stickers on Facebook and Messenger

  • We added alt text descriptions to the more than 10,000 stickers available on Facebook and Messenger, making it possible for people who are blind and visually impaired to understand and use them. 

Avatars

  • Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to have your same avatar across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Quest. 
  • There are also new avatar options, including over-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants in addition to more face shapes, skin tones, expressions, and stickers. 
  • Wheelchairs are now available as stickers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so your avatar can better represent who you are or who you want to be.

Product mock of accessibility features of Avatars

Open Source

  • Lexical is a JavaScript framework built to improve text editing on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Workplace, with accessibility as a priority. 
  • In April, Lexical was released into open source to allow the rest of the world to benefit from these improvements. 
  • With this new framework, people can express their ideas in text via dictation, and readers can experience character-by-character navigation — a feature previously unavailable in similar editors.

Reality Labs Research

  • We’re exploring how improvements in audio quality can enable more realistic presence and perceptual superpowers in augmented and virtual reality— technological advancements that can also help us hear better in noisy environments. 
  • Our team of hearing scientists is also exploring how to reencode sound and present it through closed captioning.
  • While this is still early research, we are excited to learn more about how emerging audio technologies can improve the lives of people with hearing loss. 

Image showing audio research

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Facebook: Announcing New Products to Make Business Messaging Easier

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural…

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The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural business messaging event, we discussed how messaging is transforming interactions between people and businesses, and announced new products to make conversations easier.

Introducing Cloud-based API on the WhatsApp Business Platform

Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced we’re opening up the new, cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business Platform, hosted by Meta, to any business across the world. With this new API, we’re offering free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and increase their response time for their customers. So now, whether a business wants to work with one of our 100+ partners or access our service directly, it will be much faster to get up and running on WhatsApp.

When growing a business, you need smart, robust and easy-to-use conversation tools. For smaller businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, we’re building tools so it’s easier to handle an influx of chats as they grow their customer base. 

Launching Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Today we’re announcing a new way for businesses to keep the conversation going with Recurring Notifications. As businesses acquire new customers and begin to scale operations, there’s incredible opportunity to build loyalty and trust — and we believe this is where the value of messaging really shines. This new capability makes it easy to re-engage people right in the messaging thread and deliver tailored messaging at the best time for customers, whether to hear about special promotions, new product drops or tips and tricks.

You can choose the topics you’d like to let people opt-in to, how often customers can hear from you and shape your content, so your messages are always on-brand and relevant. Recurring notifications will also be available for businesses on Instagram this fall.

We also highlighted our click-to-message ads to help customers immediately start conversations with businesses, our CRM platform Kustomer and Meta Business Suite for higher volumes of messages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Read more about our product investments in business messaging on our Meta for Developers blog.

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Facebook: Introducing New Members of the Oversight Board

Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin. Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to…

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Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin.

Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to support and work with the board to select additional members. The new members reflect a wide range of views and experiences, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the board’s existing expertise.

The Oversight Board represents a unique model for social media governance. From its inception, we knew its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and processes. In the time since they began hearing cases and issuing decisions and recommendations, they’ve been playing a bigger role in setting precedent and direction for our content policies and how we enforce them.  We look forward to welcoming the new board members into this process.

We will update this Newsroom Post as additional members are appointed. We are grateful to all board members for lending their expertise to our content moderation efforts.

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