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Facebook Joins Forces With Notable Psychologist And Creates Guidelines Helping Users Establish Boundaries With Their DMs

Facebook has collaborated with psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos to create a series of guidelines via which users online can keep their DMs healthy and safe.

Unwanted DMs are perhaps one of the biggest caveats that the social media age has brought with it. A lot of online individuals, many of these women, have stories of enduring online harassment in the form of unsolicited lewd photos, comments about whatever aspects of their profile are public, or just people who can't stand an opinion slightly different than theirs. There is a sort of courage that the impersonal nature of interacting via the internet imparts to such creeps and antagonistic masses. If no one knows who you are and where you live, there are virtually no consequences of whatever hurtful, disgusting acts you commit online. Thus, so come the bots, the troll accounts, the sub-Reddits, and so far they haven't stopped.

While social media platforms such as Facebook have, in response, made a wide variety of privacy options available to their userbase, a reminder every now and then doesn't hurt. Especially when there's someone new to the field coming in. Enter Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, an England based psychologist with a PhD in the subject matter. Her credentials include a practice than spans decades, and contract work for organizations including the UK Government's very own Home Office division. With such an illustrious track record, her working with Facebook over the guidelines we'll be discussing today is honestly relieving news.

The blog post, accessible via the Messenger News page, urges users to develop proper boundaries when it comes to online conversations. Accompanied by a flowchart, Dr. Papadopoulos explains that apps such as Messenger allow users to properly think about the conversation they're having, and thus notice if certain pressure points are being exploited in an online relationship. Remember, even familiar individuals can exploit one's personal space.

The flowchart referred to earlier picks up from conversations encountered in one's DMs. If a conversation is coming off as uncomfortable, Dr. Papadopoulos urges users to take a step back, check their temperature, and assess their own headspace. Uncomfortable conversations are not bad, but they are best had when both parties involved have a sense of control involved. Either way, Facebook reminds users of how privacy settings can be changed to regain that very sense of control.

If a conversation is simply harmful, on the other hand, the flowchart advises a different course of action. Facebook reminds users that the initiators of such DMs can be both blocked & reported, and should be as well. It is important that their actions are not inflicted upon others again. Dr. Papadopoulos again states that blocking an individual known to the user at hand can sometimes be the first step towards healing, and reassessing what the important things in life are.
Read next: Facebook Gives Users More Control Over News Tab

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