Date
20 November 2017
Facebook's new set of guidelines on banned posts runs to 2,500 words, nearly three times as long as the previous one. Photo: Bloomberg
Facebook's new set of guidelines on banned posts runs to 2,500 words, nearly three times as long as the previous one. Photo: Bloomberg

Facebook issues new guidelines on banned posts

Facebook has issued a new set of guidelines providing more information on what material is banned on the world’s largest social network.

Monika Bicket, Facebook’s global head of content policy, said the rewrite was aimed at addressing confusion about why some takedown requests were rejected.

“We [would] send them a message saying we’re not removing it because it doesn’t violate our standards, and they would write in and say I’m confused about this, so we would certainly hear that kind of feedback,” Bicket told the BBC.

So the revised version is more specific. It runs to 2,500 words, nearly three times as long as the previous one.

Facebook now has a separate section for “dangerous organizations”. 

“We now make clear that not only do we not allow terrorist organizations or their members within the Facebook community, but we also don’t permit praise or support for terror groups or their acts or their leaders, which wasn’t something that was detailed before”, she said.

The rules on nudity are also more specific. It now says that images “focusing in on fully exposed buttocks” and “images of female breasts if they include the nipple” are banned.

It says the restrictions extend to digitally-created content, unless posts are for educational or satirical purposes. Likewise, text-based descriptions of sexual acts that contain “vivid detail” are forbidden.

However, it will “always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring”.

It has also specified instances of bullying that are prohibited on the site. These include images that have been altered to “degrade” an individual and videos of physical bullying posted to shame the victim.

The ban on criminal activity covers posts that tend to celebrate crimes that users have committed, although they are allowed to suggest that certain illegal activities be legalized.

On hate speech, Facebook maintains its list of banned topics. It clarifies that people are allowed to share examples of others’ hate speech in order to raise awareness of the issue, but they must “clearly indicate” that that is their purpose.

On self-injury, the site says it will remove content that identifies victims and targets them for attack, even if done humorously. But it says that it does not consider “body modification” to be a type of self-injury.

Facebook also asks users to “warn their audience about what they are about to see if it includes graphic violence”.

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CG

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