Facebook has announced a set of new security features on its social media platform to protect journalists. According to the social media and communications company, journalists who register for this protection will get "stronger security features that further protect their Facebook and Instagram accounts against harassment and potential hacking threats."

The announcement forms part of the Facebook Journalism Project.

"Any journalist working in an editorial capacity for a news organisation that is a registered news Page on Facebook is encouraged to register as a journalist using their personal Facebook account. By registering, journalists will get stronger security features that further protect their information and online presence on Facebook, such as account monitoring for harassment and potential hacking threats. In the future, registered journalists may also be eligible for news-specific products and features built especially for editorial functions."

Protecting journalists across Africa

This expansion of Facebook's security features for journalists to African countries comes not too far after the African Union announced the launch of a digital online platform, a first for Africa at the time of the announcement, aimed at improving the protection of journalists across Africa. The "Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa" is expected to address threats and violence against journalists and foster early warning mechanisms.

In some countries in Africa journalism can be a matter of life and death. Especially for journalists and bloggers who cover current affairs such as politics and business. Journalists are subjected to threats especially when they uncover wrongdoing and corruption.

Facebook's new security features for journalists could go a long way to minimizing such harassment and possible hacking.

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