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Meta will Prevent Sharing Publicly Available Private Home Addresses on Facebook & Instagram

Multiple reports have indicated that Meta is following the suggestions of its Oversight Board to eliminate an exception. The strangeness or exception allowed users to share the residential address of a person and make it available to the public. The recent response from Meta came one year after the company requested the Oversight Board.

The company asked to observe its management for private residential details. In February, the Board responded and called on Meta to empower its policies related to the sharing of private home addresses. However, Instagram and Facebook have already implemented rules to bar users from sharing the home addresses of someone else.


The new change will limit Facebook & Instagram Users

But Meta-based platforms didn’t take any action against posts carrying publicly available addresses. The standards of Meta mentioned an exception involving any address published in 5 or more news outlets for public records. Meta also confirmed the termination of this exception before the year 2023.

Meta informed that the removal of exceptions for publicly available private residential details would confine the availability of such information. It would prevent such details on Instagram and Facebook, while still publicly available on other platforms.

The company has acknowledged that the implementation of the recent recommendation could empower privacy protections on its platforms. Moreover, Meta is shifting its response to posts that feature images of the outside locations of private homes.

Users can still share their own Address

The company also confirmed for not taking any action if the property described is focusing on a news story. But the company will take action if the photo was shared to organize protests against the resident. It would enable users to share the outside location of private residencies with publicly-owned high-rank officials.

These high-ranking officials including ambassadors and heads of state could allow users to arrange protests at these locations. Meta also said it will carry on users to post their own addresses. But the company will not follow the suggestions of the Board to allow sharing of other’s locations. Meta said it seems impossible to know if a resident has endorsed allowing another person to share their private address.

Meanwhile, Meta didn’t entirely execute the implementation of tools to make it simple for users to report a violation of privacy. The company is checking the possibility of the Board’s recommendation to streamline the requesting process. This process includes the elimination of private information on Instagram and Facebook.

Meta is testing the Privacy Violation option

Meta also confirmed the testing and made the reporting option of Privacy Violation simple to discover. The company will also examine to make this option more striking instead of searching using 2 menus for the specific option. The Board also recommended creating a specific channel to receive and respond to reports, but Meta refused to take action.

The company also said it is effectively creating new channels for users to provide support. Meta has already collaborated with around 850 organizations and they will provide help to victims. These organizations include the National Network to End Domestic Violence in the US and the Revenge Porn Helpline in the UK.

New policy changes from the company include its decision to terminate the exception for residential addresses. It would provide an additional security layer of protection for doxing victims. It is important that doxing is the action to release a person’s name, home address, email address, or phone number online. Meta has responded for the first time to the policy advisory opinion of the Oversight Board.

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