Facebook team currently in Zimbabwe, courtesy of Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe today clarified on the shutdown pages and blocked accounts due to policy violation as they step up efforts to protect local communities.
In a breakfast meeting with online stakeholders in Zimbabwe, Facebook safety policy programs manager , Europe, Middle east and Africa , Caroline Millin said that they are closing pages if they are in violation with the community ethics.
“If we receive a report on basic rules violations as stated on Facebook, or if they are complaints from the community against a Facebook account or page, we do not hesitate to close it down to protect the community” said Millin
However the Facebook official’s response was unconvincing as to how best they can verify these complaints considering some competitors use the loophole to shut down competing accounts on unsubstantiated claims.
Responding to the one of the question from a Potraz employee, Facebook said they would take due diligence to quickly see if there is any violation with simple reference to issue of nudity and profanity images or video.
Akua Gyekye, the public policy manager for Africa said complaints should clearly state violation and its easier for Facebook to take action against the account.
Members felt that Facebook needed to have a more human interface in the region to respond quickly and better to complaints as many people have fallen victims to automated responses.
One common problem raised was an issue of copyright violation where many accounts are being flagged for using someone’s music to do acts, which are not directly used to infringe copy right laws.
Facebook team said they are however stricter on issues of copyrights as they step up efforts to protect the content creators against any form of violation.
Facebook has closed many huge pages so far in Zimbabwe, at the instigation of some community members or affected parties as they drive towards community based acceptable policies.
The breakfast meet up with Facebook executives was a Potraz initiative, which is the national telecommunications regulator, spearheading online safety for Zimbabweans.
Mobile network operators , Internet service providers , The Zimbabwe Republic Police, Non Governmental Organisations and other arms of the government were part of the invited guests who intensely debated many critical issues towards online safety on facebook in Zimbabwe .