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Meta will no longer allow sharing of 'publicly available' private home addresses

Meta will no longer allow sharing of 'publicly available' private home addresses

Facebook's parent company said Meta is following an oversight board recommendation to remove an exception that allowed users to share an individual's residential address, as long as it was "publicly available". is". An updated post (via Engadget) announced.

Meta's response comes nearly a year after the company asked the Oversight Board to weigh in on its handling of private residential information. The board issued a response in February, asking META to tighten its policies around the sharing of private home addresses over concerns about docking.

Although Facebook and Instagram already have rules in place that prevent users from sharing someone's home address, the meta-owned platforms take no action against posts with "publicly available addresses." By Meta's standards, it means any address that has been published in five or more news outlets or made available in the public records. Meta says it will eliminate this exception "by the end of the year."

"As the Board notes in this recommendation, removing the exception of 'publicly available' private residential information may limit the availability of this information on Facebook and Instagram, when it is still publicly available elsewhere." " , " writes the meta. "However, we believe that implementing this recommendation could strengthen the privacy protections on our platform."

Additionally, Meta is changing its response to posts that include photos outside private homes. The company says it will not take action if "the featured property is the focus of a news story" unless it is "shared in the context of a protest against the resident." This would allow users to share the exterior of publicly owned residences belonging to "high-ranking officials", such as heads of state or ambassadors, and vice versa, allowing users to organize protests in these locations give. And while Meta says it will continue to let users post their own addresses, it will not follow the board's recommendation for other users to re-share them, saying that "it's often impossible to know. " Whether the resident has consented to allow any other person to share his/her personal address.

In addition, Meta is not fully committed to implementing tools that make it easier for users to report privacy violations. It is assessing the feasibility of the board's recommendation to simplify the process of requesting the removal of personal information on Facebook and Instagram. The company says it is testing a way to make it easier to find a "privacy violation" reporting option. Instead of clicking through two menus and searching for the specific option, Meta says it will test making the option more "major."

The board also suggested creating a "specific channel" to handle reports of doxxing, but Meta declined to take action. Meta responded by saying that it is "actively creating new channels for users to receive support," and that it is already partnered with more than 850 organizations that victims can contact to receive support. can. Such as the Revenge Porn Helpline in the UK and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. America.

Meta's planned policy changes, specifically its decision to close the residential address exception, should add an extra layer of protection for victims of doxing. Doxxing is the act of disclosing a person's name, phone number, email address, or home address online in order to launch a harassment campaign against them. This is the first time META has responded to the policy advisory opinion of the Oversight Board.

The Oversight Board was launched in 2020, and includes a diverse group of members who provide outside guidance on Meta's moderation decisions and policies across all of its platforms. Meta Oversight is not bound by any decision made by the Board, but should respond to each of its recommendations as it did here.

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