Human rights defenders safety

Human rights defenders around the world face special challenges when it comes to their personal safety and security. Here are ways Meta is working on preserving human rights and standing up against online threats to safety.

Our commitment to human rights

At Meta, we aim to provide our users with the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Inherent to that goal is ensuring every user's right to respect, safety, dignity, privacy and voice. Our commitment to human rights is continually evolving in response to global injustices. In 2021, we announced our corporate human rights policy.

This policy is centered around our commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and addresses: applying human rights policies; conducting human rights due diligence and disclosure; providing access to remedy; protecting human rights defenders; and maintaining oversight, governance, and accountability. The fourth pillar of our human rights policy is dedicated to protecting human rights defenders and recognizing them as a priority group.

Protecting human rights defenders

As outlined in our policy, we condemn all threats, acts of intimidation and retaliation, persecution and physical and legal attacks against human rights defenders. We strive to support their important work, and particularly the foundational rights of freedom of expression, assembly and political participation, as defined by internationally recognized human rights standards.

Our annual human rights report unveils our progress toward meeting our goals. In section IV, we detail the actions we’ve taken to protect human rights defenders.

Digital security for human rights defenders

As part of our commitment to the Human Rights Defenders Fund and Journalist Safety Initiative, we announced an online digital security and safety training course for journalists and human rights defenders. The free program is created and managed by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers (BCJB).

Take advantage of safety tools across Meta technologies.

We know human rights defenders must safeguard their contacts and communications against unauthorized access. Here are additional resources to address digital safety across our technologies.

End-to-end encryption: All messages on WhatsApp are automatically encrypted. You can also encrypt conversations on Messenger. Set messages to disappear in a Messenger end-to-end encrypted chat.

Locked profiles: If you wish to limit your profile so that it's only visible to your approved network, you can lock it. With this feature, only your friends will see your photos, posts and stories. Currently, this feature is available in selected countries.

Privacy controls: Use our built-in privacy and security checkups on Facebook to control who can see and comment on your content and regularly improve and assess your digital security. Find additional controls in the Privacy Center.

Profile management: Take control of how your profile appears to the general public by managing tags and comments.

Facebook Protect: Facebook Protect helps high-target accounts adopt stronger security protections. The tool simplifies security features like two-factor authentication and provides additional security protections for people's accounts and Page.

For more security tips, visit the journalist safety page and our safety and security tools section.

Report violating content.

We do not allow bullying and harassment, hate speech, violence and incitement, or other objectionable content. Report any comments, posts or digital behavior that violates our Community Standards. You can also block or restrict users who encroach on your privacy.

Visit external safety resources.

Review the following resources on digital security that can be used by human rights defenders to create a personalized toolkit factoring in region, preferred tools and devices.