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As parts of its ongoing efforts to build a safe community in the digital world, Facebook is now announcing new tools to prevent harassment on its platform and in Messenger. Facebook has said that this new move has been initiated based on feedback from people as well as organizations representing groups who disproportionately experience harassment like women and journalists.
The social media giant is introducing the new features to "proactively recognize and help prevent unwanted contact like friend requests and messages when someone you blocked sets up a new account or tries to contact you from another account they control and to provide the option to ignore a Messenger conversation and automatically move it out of your inbox, without having to block the sender."
Further, Facebook has said that these new features for personal profiles will give people additional ways to manage their experience on Facebook.
Easily Block Unwanted Friend Requests
Facebook is building on existing features that prevent fake and inauthentic accounts on Facebook. "We've heard stories from people who have blocked someone only to encounter the same harasser using a different account," the company said in a blog post.
In order to help prevent those bad encounters, Facebook's automated features will now help in identifying fake accounts more quickly and block millions of them at registration every day.
The company is also now using various signals (like an IP address) to proactively recognize this type of account and prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account. The person who blocked the original account will be in control and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally.
Just Tap to Ignore Messages
Facebook's new tool will enable you to just tap on a message and ignore the conversation within the Messenger. This disables notifications and moves the conversation from your inbox to your Filtered Messages folder. You can read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they've been read. This feature is now available for one on one conversations and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too.
Working with Experts
Apart from these new features, Facebook is also working with experts in a variety of fields to provide safety resources to people. The company has developed new resources for survivors of domestic violence in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Facebook has said that it works with more than 150 safety experts over the last year in India, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and the US and it further gets feedback on ways to improve.
"We have also convened roundtables with the Facebook Journalism Project to learn more about the unique experiences of the journalist community on Facebook. This culminated in the features we're making available today, as well as resources for journalists to help them protect their themselves on Facebook," the company stated.