Last week, we praised Instagram for its new support tools, which allow you to take action when you see a friend post something concerning. This week, Facebook, Instagram's parent company, is launching something similarly important: a new Safety Center and expanded Bullying Prevention Hub. In Facebook's revamped Safety Center, you'll find tips on how to report abusive and harmful posts, tools to help you understand and control who is seeing what you post, and advice on how to improve your account security and conduct privacy checkups. "People come to Facebook to share some of their most important moments in life," said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global safety, in a blog post about the launch. "We've built the Safety Center to help people control their experience on our platform and feel safe being themselves."
While Facebook's Safety Center has been around for a while, it hasn't always been very easy to navigate and has largely gone unnoticed (and unused). But it serves an important purpose: When you're posting personal photos and information, keeping tabs on what is available to the public — and preventing hackers from gaining access — is more critical than ever before. This new center not only makes it simpler to see the tools available to you, it has also been expanded to over 50 languages, with step-by-step videos that walk you through keeping your account secure. The Bullying Prevention Hub, which lives within the Safety Center, was created back in 2013 in partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. But today, Facebook announced that this hub is now available in more than 55 languages, with more than 50 new partners worldwide supporting the platform's culturally aware and relevant bullying prevention tools. In particular, this should be helpful for teenage girls — and any women who face discriminatory treatment online, regardless of their language or background.
"When we first launched the Bullying Prevention Hub, our goal was to bridge the gap between offline and online," Davis told Refinery29. "For example, if a student experiences bullying, they can report it to us and we’ll take [that post] down. We also offer tools to control who you interact with or reach out [to] for help. But if someone is being bullied, it’s probably not just a problem on Facebook, and we wanted to help solve the broader problem, too." That's where those worldwide partnerships (like the one with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence) come into play, Davis said. These tools, and others offered within Facebook's Safety Center, won't eliminate the issue of online bullies, trolls, and hackers. But it should help us better deal with those problems in a timely, effective, and sensitive way — online and off.