In order to provide more clarity as to what sort of content Facebook will remove, the social media site now has a set of community standards.
Social media is pretty great; it lets us saying anything we want on a whim. Cooked up a tasty meal and you want to share it with everybody? Hop onto Instagram and stick a nice filter over the top. Wondering why a particular website is down? Just tweet the people who run it and they’ll provide you with an answer. Social media lets us express ourselves in anyway we want, but when it comes to threats and abuse, there’s a line that has been crossed. Now, Facebook wants to make it clear how it decides whether the line has been crossed or not and what happens to your account if you do.
In their new community standards, Facebook explains that the following put you at risk of having your account suspended or may just see the content removed from your account: direct threats, self-injury/suicide mentions, dangerous organisations (including terrorist activity), bullying and harassment, criminal activity, sexual violence or exploitation, regulated goods (e.g marijuana and firearms), nudity, hate speech and violent or graphic content.
Facebook explains that each violation of this is looked at on a case by case basis and that they carefully review each one. It also seems as though Facebook isn’t interested in limiting free speech but is actively making sure that its users abide by the law. For example, you can use Facebook to sell weed and guns but only if you adhere to the law when doing so and also don’t try and sell them to anyone they shouldn’t (e.g minors).
Other issues such as Facebook’s policies on nudity may cause a bit of controversy, though. They don’t allow pictures of women’s breasts if they show a nipple, just in case they offend people, but the community standards list makes no mentions of men’s nipples. Many would argue that Facebook is helping to foster a double standard here. Furthermore, they also allow people to upload images of art that has nipples in, and there aren’t any clear rules on how realistic that art is allowed to be.
There are clearly some issues here that Facebook needs to work out, but the social media site is slowly but surely getting there.
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