Facebook launches tool to help people in Afghanistan lock down their accounts

It’s also temporarily hiding friends lists in the country.

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Karissa Bell
August 19, 2021 7:01 PM
In this article: privacy, news, gear, facebook, afghanistan
UKRAINE - 2021/05/20: In this photo illustration Facebook, Inc. logo seen displayed on a smartphone and in the background. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Facebook's introducing new tools to help people in Afghanistan lock down their accounts’ privacy settings. The “one-click” tool will activate privacy settings for timeline posts, and prevent profile photos from being downloaded or shared, Facebook’s Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a statement.

The feature will encourage users to "limit what unknown people can see," according to screenshots shared by Gleicher. The tool won’t be available on Instagram, but the photo sharing app is pushing “pop-up alerts” that will explain ways to lock down those accounts as well.

Facebook is pushing privacy settings to users in Afghanistan.

Gleicher added that the company is also temporarily hiding friends lists of accounts in the country, and he encouraged people with Facebook friends in Afghanistan to change privacy settings for their friends list as well. “We’re working closely with our counterparts in industry, civil society and government to provide whatever support we can to help protect people,” he said. “And we've stood up a special operations center to respond to new threats as they emerge.”

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