In a famous scene from the movie The Matrix, 'Agent Smith' interrogated the hero, Neo, by saying, “It seems that you've been living two lives”. One may think that every one of us is leading a double life. One is our real self, who takes a breath in and out, who eats, and does everything a living person needs to. The other-self is our social media self. Yes, we also lead a life of social media. We have our self-image over there and possess many acquaintances on that. People on social media have a direct or indirect influence on our real life. In the world of social media, Facebook is a big name. It is calculated that there are around 2.89 billion monthly active users on Facebook. With this number of active users, Facebook is the largest social media network. People can follow and engage themselves with the public figure that they like and vice versa.
Better late than never, Facebook has changed its content moderation policy regarding famous people and celebrities. The purpose of the change is to save famous people from online harassment and cyber bullying. This change is supposed to bring a positive impact on the lives of these public figures. Facebook administration was compelled to change its policy after ‘the coordinated efforts of mass harassment. Reports are out there that celebrities and famous people were a special target of constant bullying. Facebook administration takes it their core duty to protect them from any form of cyber bullying. In her tweet, Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, Antigone Davis, suggests visiting the Facebook Safety Center link to understand the full approach to safety and preventing bullying and harassment. “Our work to protect people on our platforms continues. Today we announced updates to our bullying and harassment policy at Facebook” says Antigone Davis. It seems that Facebook is going to launch a zero-tolerance policy against anybody who will try to harass or ‘silence’ other people. “We do not allow bullying and harassment on our platform, but when it does happen, we act,” Antigone Davis wrote in a blog post. Facebook administration has shown a commitment to “better protect public figures against harassment.
There is no denying that this act of commitment to cut down the harassment cases is very appreciable. But nobody is beyond the law. The general public has their rights too. It is still a question of whether these public figures try to harass the commoners, what will be the solution. What to do if they become vice, not the victim? Further expansion of the policy to wipe out social media from bullying is the need of time. Strict and timely steps should be taken in the favour of people being bullied. If we focus to protect only famous people and leave a huge lot of people at harassment risk, it would be a big reason to worry. Do you want ‘a clean shepherd with shitten sheep’?