Facebook's internal guidelines revealed on sex, terrorism and violence

May 24, 2017, 04:10
Facebook's internal guidelines revealed on sex, terrorism and violence

A Guardian investigation revealed how the site formulates these policies - from posting about violence, hate speech, pornography, self-harm, animal cruelty and other topics - which have come under scrutiny in recent years. They usually have just 10 seconds to make a decision on a post using guidelines that are often inconsistent. At the beginning of May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would hire 3,000 more people - on top of the 4,500 moderators it had - "to review the millions of reports we get every week".

"Facebook can not keep control of its content", a source told the Guardian. It has grown too big, too quickly'.

In addition, images of animal abuse may be shared, as well as artistic works showing nudity and sexual activity - as long as they have not been digitally created.

According to The Guardian, moderators of the social networking giant were instructed to allow posts labeled as self-harm because it "doesn't want to punish people in distress".

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Facebook would like to "allow as much speech as possible" but also needs to take action when something "could credibly cause harm" in real life, according to the documents.

"This requires a lot of thought into detailed and often hard questions, and getting it right is something we take very seriously", Bickert said. Facebook also allows videos of abortions as long as there is no nudity in the footage.

The social media platform takes the similar approach with violent death videos, as they think those will increase awareness. It also makes exceptions when disturbing content may be able to spread awareness about a certain issue. Other disturbing and violent comments, however, such as "fuck off and die" and - brace yourself for this next one - "to snap a bitch's neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat" are accepted on the platform. For example, it's OK to post "let's beat up fat kids", but prohibited to post "someone shoot Trump".

Yesterday (Sunday), the Guardian revealed documents that it received describing Facebook's rules and guidelines that will determine which posts will be permitted on the social network.

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"We have a really diverse global community and people are going to have very different ideas about what is ok to share".

"We're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to public interest - even if they might otherwise violate our standards", Facebook vice presidents Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky said.

Under the violence policy, for example, the company attempts to draw distinctions between credible physical threats, verbal threats, and self-harm. With the Facebook community growing feverishly, this has also led to a spurt in instances where objectionable graphic content have got depicted unhindered.

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