Meta introduces new measures to combat doxing

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that users will soon no longer be able to share “publicly accessible” private addresses. This is in line with the advice of the Oversight Board. It took a year to formulate the recommendations.

Meta acknowledges that sharing this information has benefits for the public debate, but it can also be misused for doxing.

Oversight Board comes with recommendations

The social media networks Meta operates all have privacy policies that prohibit sharing private addresses. However, Facebook and Instagram policies make an exception for addresses that are publicly available. According to the company, this is the case if the address has been published in at least five media or has been made available in public documents.

This exception was controversial because it created a gap between freedom of expression on the one hand and security on the other. In a weblog, Meta wrote: “Access to residential addresses can be an important tool for journalism, citizen activism, and other social discussions. However, exposing this information without permission can also pose a risk to an individual’s security and invade their privacy.”

Meta turned to the Oversight Board for advice on the matter. In February of this year, the Council presented its recommendations. The tech company now says it will make changes in line with the Oversight Board’s recommendations.

Public address exception should be deleted

Meta says it will remove the exception for publicly accessible addresses on its platform. While this information will be available outside of its platforms, Meta expects the move to strengthen its own privacy protections. However,

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