Facebook has really been struggling lately.
With all the news surrounding their continuous decline in company stocks combined with an increasing number of users deleting the social platform altogether, the company had to make a move.
For the first time ever, Facebook is trying to be more open and upfront with their community guidelines on what can and can not be posted.
The community guidelines packet had been updated as of yesterday (April 23) to give more detail on how it, and it's moderators (7,600 of them!) make the call on what to delete or ban from users on the platform.
It's a lengthy read (over 8,000 words over 27 pages!) but if you have the time it's definitely worth going through.
A lot of these points were already public, or maybe they were just common sense. Some things here stand out as pretty interesting tidbits that many, myself included, may not have been aware of.
For example, images and posts about women's breasts are okay in some cases. Breastfeeding, protest, pictures of mastectomy results and paintings are allowed. Breasts in other ways, however, are not.
In regards to adult nudity and sexuality, the guideline goes on further to define sexual acts or refer to posts of sexual fetishes, sexual intercourse, or even sexual referencing posts, such as erections and sex toys, go against community standards.
It goes against their standards unless it is done in a "satirical or humorous context" or in "an educational or scientific context" - because that is perfectly acceptable. It also goes on to say that insufficiently detailed imagery of nudity is acceptable as well.
The community guidelines also define imagery of committed violence in the following ways that are NOT okay to post.
Violence committed against real people or animals, with comments or captions by the poster that contain:
- Enjoyment of suffering and/or humiliation
- Erotic response to suffering
- Remarks of positive speak towards violence
- Indication of "sensational" viewing pleasure
All of these seem like common sense to me, but the list of types of violent posts that can be deemed "appropriate" (using that word very loosely) is much longer and includes:
Videos of dying, wounded or dead people if they contain:
Videos of self-immolation when that action is a form of political speech or newsworthy
- Dismemberment unless in a medical setting
- visible innards
- victims of cannibalism
Posts that fall under these above categories are permitted to be on Facebook, so long as they are "educational, scientific, or promoting a cause", but must include a Graphic Content warning and will not be allowed to be viewed by users under 18.
Here's another interesting part of the amended rulebook, this time focusing on murderers and serial murderers - the latter of which are not permitted to be a Facebook user.
We consider a homicide to be a mass murder if it results in four or more deaths in one incident
We consider any individual who has committed two or more murders over multiple incidents or locations to be a serial murderer
When it comes to one-time murder offenders, though, they are in fact permitted on the website... cause maybe it was self-defense? A misunderstanding?
I can't sit here and tell you about all of the weird double standards, or interesting sections of this new Facebook community rulebook, but let me tell you, some of this stuff seems completely backward to me!
Facebook utilizes a combination of AI and human moderators to weed out the content that goes against its policies, but those "tools" aren't always able to define differences in context, humour or satire - which creates an issue and sometimes questionable content slips through the cracks.
Facebook officials and spokespersons have noted that their rulebook and guidelines are consistently changing, and the website will be updating every couple weeks.
Consultations are also slated to be held around the world with organizations, city government and police, and the public in regards to what constitutes questionable or inappropriate content.
Good luck. it's a lot of information to take in!