Facebook Adds New Safety Features, Donates $5 Million for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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Facebook is launching multiple initiatives in support of Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The initiatives include new safety and support features, additional funding and partnerships, and a programming series dedicated to the community.

Safety and support features: With anti-Asian incidents still on the rise, Facebook says it wants to ensure that community members feel safe and supported on its range of apps.

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  • Facebook is expanding its comment warning features to encourage users “to reconsider harmful language and provide education around how that language may impact the API community and others.”
  • Throughout May, U.S. users will see a #StopAsianHate notification at the top of News Feed, which users can tap to donate to API organizations fighting hate and discrimination.
  • New stickers and avatar expressions will appear on Facebook. Instagram users will see new augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) filters and stickers designed in collaboration with artist Dingding Hu.
  • Messenger will get a new set of camera stickers. WhatsApp users can share stickers designed by illustrator Gracia Lam, which highlight the strength of API women.
  • Facebook is also promoting API-owned businesses through its Shop collections and Shops You May Like features on the app, along with @shop on Instagram. 
New Instagram stickers for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Image via Facebook

Additional funding and partnerships: Facebook reportedly invested $10 million in racial justice grants last year. Now, the company is expanding the amount with $5 million in donations for organizations “focused on racial justice and equity for the Asian and Pacific Islander community and other marginalized communities.”

  • In response to the rise in anti-Asian violence, Facebook is partnering with the Asian American Psychological Association, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Asian Mental Health Project and others to facilitate conversations on mental health and encourage the public to take a #MentalHealthMinute.
New Messenger stickers for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Image via Facebook

API programming: Facebook has prepared a series of API-focused events, which will come in the form of panels, workshops and spotlights.

  • The series, called “Amplify API,” will run during the week of May 17.
  • The programming seeks to bring business founders, community leaders and media figures together to discuss issues and challenges that beset the API community.
  • One spotlight is growth training and inspiration for API-owned small businesses.
  • The Facebook Partner Center is also partnering with nonprofit Gold House to showcase API contributions in the media and entertainment industry, the business landscape, and arts and culture.

Facebook on its own will feature members of Groups who are “challenging the model minority myth in diverse, vivid, modern and empowering ways.” Facebook Company social accounts will amplify stories that highlight the “uniqueness and diversity” of APIs and show how the community uses Facebook “to find each other, raise their voices and dismantle common stereotypes.”

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Instagram will run a campaign that features APIs “who are breaking the mold and pushing culture forward.” Users will be encouraged to share API creators who have influenced them and help others diversify their feeds.

Featured Image via Facebook

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