The Tyler Clementi Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities, commends Facebook for its transparency in releasing its community standards to the general public in order to provide a more concrete view of how the company is working to end all forms of bullying and harassment. While this important first step allows individuals and organizations to better understand how Facebook and its content monitors handle bullying, the Tyler Clementi Foundation does not believe these standards go far enough to protect everyone.
Below is a list of suggestions that the Tyler Clementi Foundation has for Facebook with respect to improving its current community standards. The following changes should be made to section 9 on Bullying and section 10 on Harassment:
- The policy should enumerate specific minority groups that are routinely targeted for bullying, such as women, people of color, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
- The policy should protect those vulnerable to bullying from individuals considered to be public figures, who can be perpetrators of bullying and harassment.
- While the policy works to reduce posts that target minors, it doesn’t do enough to protect individuals over the age of 18 from becoming targets.
“In order to have ‘Community Standards’ that protect against all forms of bullying and harassment, we believe the three points above must be addressed,” said Jason Cianciotto, executive director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “If Facebook is looking for ways to combat bullying on its platform, we suggest that it encourage all of its users to take the #Upstander Pledge and commit to disrupting bullying both online and offline.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation‘s mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. Founded in 2011 by the Clementi family in memory of Tyler – a son, brother, and friend – the foundation’s flagship bullying-prevention and education program is #Day1. Other programs include the Upstander Pledge, Upstander Speaker Series, Tyler’s Suite, Workplace Training, and True Faith Doesn’t Bully, a public education campaign that fights religious bullying. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, re-introduced in Congress in 2016, would require colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.