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Facebook launches tools to protect people in Afghanistan

Facebook has apparently launched new tools to safeguard people’s identity on social media in Afghanistan, in a bid to do its part during the widespread chaos and violence in the South Asian country. Nathaniel Gleicher, the Head of Security Policy at the social media giant, has revealed the steps being taken by Facebook to protect its users’ privacy, through a series of tweets. Locking down accounts and hiding friends lists will be made possible, and are currently being rolled out only in Afghanistan, based on feedback from civil groups, activists, and journalists.

Facebook tools Afghanistan

Image Credits: Facebook

Gleicher further adds that over the past week, the company has been “working around the clock” in a bid to keep as many people safe as possible. These steps have involved trying to keep off bad actors, while rolling out the new features to help people protect their accounts. In his tweets, he has also included links to online security guides, for use especially by journalists and activists.

Deleting Photos From Phones And Accounts

This comes even after the NBC reported on Friday that people in the country had been taking down photos from their social media accounts and phones that could suggest a possible connection with the Afghan government, the Afghan military, or western countries. They may however, no longer need to do so, as they will now have the option of locking their accounts against access from anyone else outside their friend list. The feature is just one click away, and,  if activated, people who are not on one’s friend list will not be able to share or download their profile photos, and neither will they be able to access the posts on their timeline.

Pop-Up Alerts

Meanwhile, the tool used for viewing and searching one’s “Friends” list for Facebook accounts in Afghanistan is also being temporarily removed, so that people are protected from becoming targets. Pop-up alerts on Instagram are also being rolled out in Afghanistan, which will direct users on how to protect their accounts. People who have family and friends living in Afghanistan, are being urged to restrict their visibility settings, so as to protect their contacts from unnecessary trouble.

Gleicher has also added that Facebook Inc. is closely watching the situation at hand in Afghanistan, and will continue to make decisions and take steps to protect users in the country, in real-time.

It remains to be seen how the move will fare among Afghanistan’s Facebook users.

 

Source: India Today

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