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Science
20 Dec 2017

Facebook gets safer; launches new tools to boost user privacy

Facebook has rolled out a series of tools to ensure greater security and privacy for its users.

The new features, that aim to curb harassment, include preventing a blocked connection to contact you through a new account, alerting you when someone uploads your photos but doesn't tag you, and downranking posts that ask users to like or share.

Read on to know more.

In context

New Facebook tools to protect users, prevent harassment

Features

Blocked connections won't be able to contact you anymore

People you have blocked on Facebook can no longer reach you, in any way. A new feature proactively prevents them from sending you friend requests and messages, even from a new account or a different page they control.

By tapping on a message, you can now effectively ignore Messenger conversations and read messages without the sender knowing that you have read them.

The relief!

Measures

A massive crackdown on fake accounts

Facebook is working towards effectively sieving fake and inauthentic accounts. The new tools are helping it identify defaulters more quickly and block them by the millions every day right at registration.

The social media giant is also using several other signals such as IP addresses to recognize fake accounts and blocked connections, and prevent them from further perpetrating harassment through new accounts.

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Security

You'll know even about photos that you aren't tagged in

Another tool uses facial recognition to alert users when others upload their photos, even the ones in which they aren't tagged.

However, you'll have to let Facebook keep your facial template to use the feature, which is optional, allowing you to decide if you want it.

FB also plans to add an "on/off" button, giving users control over all its facial-recognition related tools.

Finally

None will ask you to like, share, comment ever again

You no longer have to suffer the ignominy of being asked to like, share and comment on everything that you come across on Facebook.

In a landmark move, the social networking site recently announced that starting this week, it would begin to severely demote posts that use the "engagement bait," i.e. ask users to like, share or comment.

Now that's some Christmas present.

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