Facebook Sets New Corporate Human Rights Policy

It is following the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

The fund Facebook is creating will provide offline assistance to human rights defenders who are facing critical threats
MicroStockHub/iStock

Facebook enacted a corporate human rights policy covering the entire company and introduced a fund to back human rights defenders facing critical threats and support new digital security efforts.

Director of human rights Miranda Sissons said in a Newsroom post late Tuesday that the company’s new policy sets out standards it will strive to respect as defined in international law, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as how those standards will apply to its applications, products, policies, programming and overall business approach.

Facebook will report critical human rights issues, such as risks to freedom of expression, to its board of directors, and it will release an annual public report detailing how it is addressing human rights concerns stemming from its business practices, policies or products.

We know that we will be judged based on our actions, not our words.

Miranda Sissons, Facebook

The fund Facebook is creating will provide offline assistance to human rights defenders who are facing critical threats and support new digital security efforts, starting in Asia later this year.

Sissons said the social network will also continue to protect defenders’ accounts by combating malicious actors who are targeting them, protecting them from incorrect content removals via Cross Check, offering advanced security options, thwarting unauthorized access to the accounts of defenders who are arrested or detained and teaming up with human rights organizations on outreach and training.

“Our goal is for Facebook, as a business and a platform, to be a place for equality, safety, dignity and free speech—the core principles of human rights—and to build systems that respect human rights and guidance of the UNGPs,” Sissons wrote.

“The struggle for human rights online will continue to face new challenges as authoritarian governments are increasingly seeking to exert control over the internet and use it as a means of repression. No one company will be perfect, but we will do all we can to live up to the commitments we are making today. And we know that we will be judged based on our actions, not our words.”

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