Harassment: after Google, Facebook promises transparency

Facebook announced Friday that it will take steps to ensure greater transparency in cases of sexual harassment within the company, following Google's recent announcements on the topic.

Employees who report situations of sexual harassment are no longer restricted by the mandatory "arbitration clause", which makes them obliged to resort to some form of extrajudicial and private mediation instead of a public trial.

"The arbitration clause is now optional and not mandatory in cases of sexual harassment," said one of the group's communication officers at AFP.

"Sexual harassment does not belong on Facebook," he added.

The internal policy of the company has also changed: managers or managers of a certain level will from now on be obliged to inform the personnel department if they have an affair with another employee to prevent possible abuse.

These announcements come as another computer giant, Google, also promised Thursday to abolish the mandatory character of arbitration clauses.

"We have to admit that we have not always done the right thing in the past and we sincerely regret it", wrote the boss of the technological giant Sundar Pichai in an e-mail to employees who were sent to AFP.

"It is clear that we have to make changes," he continued.

Google has promised to report regularly the number of cases of sexual harassment in the company and the disciplinary measures taken.