Facebook Introduces Tools To Help Fight Harassment

Facebook announced several new tools last week that it hopes will combat harassment both on the platform and in Messenger.

First, Facebook is strengthening its security measures to prevent people from creating fake accounts. It’s also taking steps to ensure that if a user blocks a profile for harassment, they can’t be contacted by that same individual using a different fake profile. (Facebook will figure this out by taking a closer look at user IP addresses.)

These new tools give a far greater degree of power to users who report harassment.

“The person who blocked the original account is in control, and must initiate contact with the new account in order for them to interact normally,” Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the new features.

Perhaps most usefully, Facebook is also adding an “ignore” feature for Messenger. That means users can click on a message to ignore it, and all notifications from that conversation will be disabled. The whole message thread will then also be moved to your Filtered Messages folder. You’ll also be able to read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they’ve been read. That’s a huge win for user privacy.

While changes like this seem small, they can go a long way toward making users feel safer on Facebook. And that’s a good thing no matter what.