Facebook issues its human rights policy

Facebook has published its first corporate human rights policy, committing to upholding and respecting human rights as set out in international human rights instruments, including the International Bill of Human Rights. These commitments are to be implemented by  applying human rights policies, conducting human rights due diligence and disclosure, providing access to remedy, maintaining oversight, governance, and accountability, and protecting human rights defenders.

While the corporate human rights policy is new, Facebook does not make any changes to its privacy policy, code of conduct, or community standards, according to Bloomberg

Facebook plans to report the most critical human rights issues, like risks to freedom of expression, to its board of directors and to release an annual report on how human rights concerns are addressed. 

Civil rights organisations have welcomed the policy, but criticized it as coming far too late considering Facebook’s global power in place since the early 2000s. According to Access Now, it also ‘raises more questions than answers around how Facebook will more effectively integrate human rights considerations into its day-to-day operations and strategic decision making’.