East Africa: Facebook Determined to Keep Users Safe When Online

Facebook, one of the worlds largest social networking sites, woth 2.375 billion monthly active users, 500,000 new users everyday, and 6 new profiles every second, it is no mystery that concern for safety whilst on the app has become a serious talking point.

Anyone with an internet connection has access to Facebook, alluding to the idea that those incredible statistics, are dotted with people who do not have the best of intentions. Speaking at the Facebook well being media event recently, Mercy Ndegwa, Facebook head of public policy East Africa was at hand to highlight how hard Facebook is working around safety and the general well being of their users when online. Not only when they are posed a threat from outside, but when they are a threat to themselves, such as when they are suffering from mental illnesses and are on the verge of suicide.

"Safety is at the core of what we do" before she further outlined the five pronged safety algorithm that Facebook uses. It consists of; policies, tools, help, partnerships and feedback. All these safety mechanisms are intended to be fully utilized by users so that they can get whatever assistance they need. With dynamic options, ranging from self harm to someone suspicious. The Facebook team has further leveraged on AI, and machine learning to scale up an issue, because technology is adaptive, and it has connected so many people together through the Facebook platform, it is technology again, that can protect them.

Through partnerships such as watoto watch, Facebook is at end to ensure that no underage users are on the platform. Ndegwa then went on to say "Children must be taught how to use the digital space responsibly" alluding to the notion that the internet and technology is ubiquitous, but we need to guide the younger generation on safe consumption habits.

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