Facebook has launched a product for journalists to register with the platform to receive features and tools designed to support them. This move demonstrates the company’s ongoing effort to identify who is publishing journalism on its platform and understand how Facebook can 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.
“Journalists serve an essential role of keeping us informed and connected with the communities we care about. In the course of doing their jobs, 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 Facebook’s Communications Manager for East Africa Janet 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.
“Journalist registration is a continuation of our work to better identity and support journalists on our platform. While we’re starting with account protections, in the future registered journalists may also be eligible for other news-specific benefits, tools, and features. We’ll continue working with news organizations, academics, and industry groups to explore other ways to support registered journalists,” Kemboi concluded.