Facebook allows users to ‘lock’ their profiles

(Representative image)

NEW DELHI: Facebook has launched a new feature in India, which will allow users to “lock” their profiles, thereby allowing only friends to see their photos and posts. The move is aimed to give people, especially women, more control over who sees the content they share. The new feature will start rolling out in India on Thursday, and be available to everyone in the country in the coming week.
In a video conference attended by mediapersons, including TOI, Facebook product manager Roxna Irani said the feature “Profile Lock” comes as an addition to the “profile picture guard”, which prevented other users from downloading a person’s display photo.
Responding to a query by this reporter, Irani said the “Lock” will make people’s profiles more “private” as users will be able to apply multiple existing privacy settings and several new features with a single click.
“Women were most nervous about their profile picture being downloaded and shared… Over time, we realised that they want this feature to extend to other photos as well,” she said over the video call, adding that this was culmination of a three-year-long research.
Explaining how locked profiles work, Irani said that non-friends won’t be able to zoom into, download or share a user’s pictures if they opt for the new settings. People will be able to opt for the setting without having to navigate complicated privacy settings.
A “blue badge” will serve as an indicator that the profile is locked. If the feature is activated, users will not be able to post publicly. A public post will only be possible if the profile is unlocked again.
Facebook India public policy director Ankhi Das, while pointing out the “skewed gender representation” in the number of internet users in India, said one of the most common barrier is concern for their safety. “We are deeply aware of the concerns people in India, particularly women, have about protecting their online profile. Today, we are announcing a new feature which, in one easy step, will give people a lot more control, ensure their privacy and keep them safe and secure online,” she said.
Here are the steps to turn on this feature:
* Tap More under your name
* Tap Lock Profile
* Tap Lock Your Profile again to confirm

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