Facebook on February 16th 2021 launched a product for journalists to register with the platform to receive features and tools designed to support them. This move is part of the company’s ongoing effort to identify who is publishing journalism on its platform and find ways to better serve journalists.
With this launch, journalists in Kenya can register to receive safety and security features that help further protect their Facebook and Instagram accounts. In the future, this registration flow will allow Facebook to roll out additional features and use cases designed with journalists in mind.
Facebook’s Communications Manager for East Africa Janet Kemboi said journalists serve an essential role of keeping people informed and connected with the communities. In the course of doing their jobs, she said journalists can face threats both in the physical world and online. “We know that journalists and news media professionals are at a higher risk of online harm because of their occupation, and we want to provide better account protections for them,” said Ms Kemboi.
Journalists can either register through an in-app quick promotion (QP) sent proactively by Facebook to accounts who are likely to be journalists, or through this Help Center page where anyone can access the registration flow.
Registration is voluntary, and journalists must opt in to receive each program benefit.
To register as a journalist, you must be able to verify your affiliation with a news organization that is registered as a news Page on Facebook. You can do this by submitting five bylined news articles in which you are the author or contributor, submitting a link to your biography on a news organization’s staff directory page, or by providing a professional email address.
Journalists who are currently candidates for political office, are campaign staffers working for a candidate for political office, or for a government employee are not eligible to register.
Once a journalist has registered, their personal Facebook accounts will be added to an internal list of accounts that will receive safety and security protections geared towards keeping vulnerable groups safe. Applicants may also be eligible to receive Facebook Blue Badge Verification and access to Crowd Tangle Search.
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“Journalist registration is a continuation of our work to better identity and support journalists on our platform,” said Ms Kemboi. “While we’re starting with account protections, in the future registered journalists may also be eligible for other news-specific benefits, tools, and features.”
What are the requirements/criteria for inclusion?
Journalists on Facebook who meet all of the criteria below are encouraged to register and receive safety and security protections:
- You are affiliated with a news organization that is registered as a news Page on Facebook.
- You can verify your affiliation with a news organization that is registered as a news Page on Facebook by providing at least one of the following:
- a professional email address
- links to five (5) news articles that credit you as an author or contributor in the byline
- a link to your biography on a staff directory page
- You live in any of the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya
- You are not currently a candidate for political office, a campaign staffer working for a candidate for political office, or a government employee.
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