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Women’s Day 2021: Safety tips for your Facebook and Instagram accounts



Women’s Day 2021: How to stay safe on Facebook and Instagram. In this photos a 3D printed Facebook logo is placed on a computer motherboard. (Image: Reuters)

While the internet has given women many opportunities, it can also be a space where many feel unsafe given the harassment that it is all too common. On social media platforms, harassment and safety is a major concern for women. From strangers messaging on Facebook to unwanted comments on Instagram photos, there are several problems that women face when navigating social media. Ahead of women’s day 2021, here are safety tips from Facebook and Instagram to stay safe on both platforms.

Tips for keeping your account safe on Facebook

2-Factor authentication and omitting unrecognised logins

This is important to ensure that your account is not compromised or accessed by anyone else. Facebook recommends that you should not share your profile password with anyone, and ‘Two-factor Authentication’ is an extra layer of security. Women can also enable ‘Unrecognised Login Alerts’ to keep a track of any unauthorised logins.

To enable two-factor authentication, go to Settings > Security and Login > Use two-factor authentication > Edit > Enable > Close.

To set up the login alerts, go to Settings > Security and Login > Get alerts about unrecognised logins > Edit > Choose the types of alerts (example email alerts) > Save Changes. You can also set up two-factor authentication on Instagram to keep that account secure.

Locking your Facebook profile is a good option for most women. (Image source: Facebook)

Lock your profile to any outsiders

If you are worried about strangers, accessing your profile and stealing photos which are publicly visible, then locking your profile is important from a safety perspective. When you lock your profile, anyone who is not your Facebook friend will no longer be able to access any photos or posts on your timeline. This also means they will not be able to download these either.

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Open Facebook Mobile App, tap on your profile and tap the three dot menu icon next to ‘Add to Story’.

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Tap on Lock Profile option and tap on OK.

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Choose who sees what on your Facebook timeline

When you update your status or post photos on Facebook, you can restrict the audience by relying on the “Audience Selector” tool. Facebook lets you choose from sharing with everyone, which means it is available publicly, or you can share with just your friends or even a select group of friends.

While posting, below your name, you will see the ‘Audience Selector’ option.

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Click on it and choose which audience would you like your post to be visible to.

You can also change the setting after posting. Tap at the top right of the post, edit the post’s privacy settings and selecting a new audience.

Tips to stay safe on Instagram

Women's Day 2021, Women's Internet safety, Facebook safety, How to lock Facebook Profile, how to delete Instagram comments, How to keep Instagram private, How to check Instagram DMs Women’s Day 2021: Keeping your Instagram private is one good way of ensuring safety. (Image credit : Pixabay)

Keep your Insta account private

If privacy and safety are a concern on Instagram, then switching to a private account is better. Only those who are approved can follow your account and they have to request to see your account. Your content is visible to approved followers only. Private accounts also let users decide who can comment on their post. Further, the user can turn off the “Show Activity Status” so that your friends can’t see when you are online.

Follow these steps to make account private:

#Go to your profile page on Instagram.

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#Tap in the top right, then tap the Settings, which has four lines.

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#Tap Privacy, then tap Account Privacy.

#Tap next to Private Account to make your account private.

Share Insta-Stories with close friends

Women can create a ‘Close Friends’ list and share their ‘Story’ with only people in this list. You can add and remove people from this list at any time. Instagram does not notify people when they are added or removed from this list.

Filter out Comments

This is an important tool to ensure that comments, which are offensive or intended to bully or harass are filtered out. The app has built filters that automatically remove offensive words and phrases and bullying comments. However, you can also create your own list of words or emojis, which you don’t want appearing.

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Just go to the “Filters” in the Comment Controls section.  Go to Settings> Privacy.

Then tap on Comments and you will see the Filters option. Turn on manual filters. Now you can add words, phrases which will be filtered out from comments. Further, you can also filter out the most reported words.

Block anyone you don’t want to see your posts

Even if you don’t have a private account, you can still block those who are abusive on the platform. To block an account, navigate to that account’s profile, open the “…” menu in the upper right corner and tap “Block User.”

Restrict user 

You can restrict someone from posting on your profile. You can either swiping left on a comment and will see options to either Report a Comment, Restrict or Block. When you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that person. You won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.

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Controls in Direct Messages

Sexual harassment in Direct Messages or DMs is a common problem. But you can always restrict who can message you via Direct Messages or DMs. If you have a private account, only those who follow you can send messages. Anyone else will have to send a request. You can choose to not accept or block any unwanted requests in your DMs.

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Enabling developers to create innovative AIs on Messenger and WhatsApp





Every week over 1 billion people connect with businesses on our messaging apps. Many of these conversations are made possible by the thousands of developers who build innovative and engaging experiences on Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Since opening access to our Llama family of large language models, we’ve seen lots of momentum and innovation with more than 30 million downloads to date. As our messaging services continue to evolve, we believe the technology from Llama and other generative AI models have the potential to enhance business messaging through more natural, conversational experiences.

At Connect Meta announced that developers will be able to build third-party AIs – a term we use to refer to our generative AI-powered assistants – for our messaging services.

We’re making it easy for any developer to get started, so we’re simplifying the developer onboarding process and providing access to APIs for AIs that make it possible to build new conversational experiences within our messaging apps.

All developers will be able to access the new onboarding experience and features on Messenger in the coming weeks. For WhatsApp, we’ll be opening a Beta program in November – if you’re interested in participating please sign up to the waitlist here to learn more.

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We’ll keep everyone updated as we make these tools available to more developers later this year. We look forward to your feedback and seeing what you create.

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Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0





Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.

For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.

General Updates

Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting

As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.

We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.

This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.

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Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API

Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.

With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.

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Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.

Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads

  • Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads

    Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
  • Re-Launching Call Ads via API

    On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.

    Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

Graph API changes for user granular permission feature

We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:

  • Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
  • Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account

With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).

The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.

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Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights

Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.

This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.

After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.

Please review the media insights and user insights developer documentation to learn more.

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Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints

Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.

API Version Deprecations:

As part of Facebook’s versioning schedule for Graph API and Marketing API, please note the upcoming deprecations:

Graph API

  • September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

Marketing API

  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.

Facebook Platform SDK

As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:

  • October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
  • February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset

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Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)





Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.

After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.

We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.

Please review the developer documentation to learn more.

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