Facebook turns on ‘lock profile’ tool for people in Ukraine

The company has also staffed up a "Special Operations Center" to "closely monitor" what's happening in the country.

Dado Ruvic / reuters

Facebook’s security team is taking new steps to protect the accounts of users in Ukraine. The company is enabling its “lock profile” tool for people in the country, and building up a “Special Operations Center” to "closely monitor" what's happening in Ukraine.

The “lock profile” tool is meant to give users “one-click” access to additional privacy and security features, said Meta’sHead of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher. “When their profile is locked, people who aren’t their friends can’t download or share their profile photo or see posts on their timeline,” Gleicher said.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has encouraged users in “unsafe” areas to lock their profiles. Most recently, Facebook enabled the “lock profile” tool for people in Afghanistan over the summer amid the US withdrawal from the country. And the company has noted that it can be especially helpful for journalists, activists and others who may be at a higher risk of being targeted.

The social network has also formed a dedicated team to keep an eye on what’s happening in Ukraine. “In response to the unfolding military conflict in Ukraine, we have established a Special Operations Center to respond in real time,” Gleicher said. “It is staffed by experts (including native speakers) so we can closely monitor the situation and act as fast as possible.”