If you've ever had a creep slide into your DMs (and, unfortunately, who among us hasn't?), you know that harassment and unwanted contact can be serious problems on social media. Thankfully, Facebook has announced they're rolling out a suite of tools to make it easier to block and report perpetrators. According to a press release written by global head of safety Antigone Davis, the new features are "based on feedback from people who use Facebook, as well as organizations representing groups who disproportionately experience harassment like women and journalists."
The company is ramping up serious security features that will help prevent the creation of fake accounts, including tracking IP addresses. Not only should this decrease the number of bogus accounts on the platform, but it should also help prevent cases of people who have already been banned or blocked from messaging another user from creating another account to continue the behavior.
Speaking of messaging, you'll also now be able to "ignore" a conversation, which means you can still see the messages, but you won't get notifications about them, the sender won't be able to see that they've been read, and they will be moved from your inbox to a folder called Filtered Messages. According to Davis, the thinking behind this feature comes directly from people who have experienced domestic violence.
"If someone is being harassed, blocking the abuser sometimes prompts additional harassment, particularly offline," she writes. "We’ve also heard from groups that work with survivors of domestic violence that being able to see messages is often a valuable tool to assess if there is risk of additional abuse."
The feature is currently available for direct conversations, and will soon be rolled out for group messages. Facebook also says they're working with safety experts around the world, as well as the National Network to End Domestic Violence, to make digital communities safer, especially for women.