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Dr Eric Jensen comments on steps taken by Facebook to protect Afghan users

Facebook has created a tool to help Afghan users lock their accounts, and temporarily removed the ability for people to search the friends lists of accounts based in Afghanistan, in response to concerns that the Taliban could use social media to target people with US or UK contacts. Dr Eric Jensen of the Department of Sociology comments.

"The social responsibility shown by social media companies to safeguard users from reprisals by the Taliban is good to see. These companies have often been much less careful to proactively add protections like these in the past. However, they should be going a step further than they are now by adjusting the default privacy settings for Afghan users to maximise safety. Given the many challenges at-risk Afghans are facing right now, requiring them to ‘opt in’ to gain potentially life-saving privacy protections is a problematic approach."

20 August 2021