Meta reveals its plans to stop harassment of players and fans on its platforms during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The tournament kicked off on Sunday but even before that, several harmful contents have been spotted, targeting minorities as far back as possible.
However, with the top national competition ongoing and many social media users likely looking for contents relating to it, the platforms have to protect them from sensitive ones especially during this period.
In addition, The Verge reported that Meta faced criticism when it allowed racist content targeting Black players on England’s national team during the 2021 European Championship stay on. It had faced calls for boycott from teams and organisations in the country. At this stage in the company’s existence, another scandal on a grander scale could be damaging.
Meta says that it is prompting players to use Instagram features like hidden words and limits to reduce the chances of them seeing offensive comments. Also, it mentioned that it introduced new nudge tools that discourage users from engaging with offensive comments.
There are other tools that the company spotlighted, including disable public direct messages, blocking offensive users, and manage comment permissions on their posts.
“We have clear rules against bullying, violent threats and hate speech — and we don’t want it on our apps,” the company said in its announcement. Although, none of the tools it highlighted were new, the announcement does the job of calling attention to their existence and usefulness.
The tricky part here is that Meta is leaving the bulk of the job to the would-be victims to self moderate what they see. For public figures like footballers, it may mean not being able to interact with their fans as freely as they would prefer.
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