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Facebook Clarifies What Can And Cannot Be Posted

Facebook's Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management, and Chris Sonderby, Deputy General Counsel, published an article on Monday detailing what users can and cannot post on the social network. They said these new "Community Standards" were created to provide a safe environment for users to express themselves while treating others with understanding and respect.

The report revealed that Facebook will pull any photo that exposes the genitals and/or buttocks. Breasts are also banned if they show the nipple, but are allowed if they show a woman breastfeeding her baby or reveal post-mastectomy scarring. Full-blown nudity is only accepted in paintings, sculptures and any other piece of art that depicts the naked body.

"Restrictions on the display of both nudity and sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes," the Community Standards stated. "Explicit images of sexual intercourse are prohibited. Descriptions of sexual acts that go into vivid detail may also be removed."

The updated Community Standards also cover hate speech, which will be removed immediately from the site once it's reported. That means Facebook users cannot verbally attack people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation and more. The only time Facebook allows hate speech is when it's used to educate others about hate speech, or to raise awareness.

Bickert and Sonderby said on Monday that there will be content that is tolerated by Facebook and the Community Standards but may also violate the local laws of a specific country. In that scenario, Facebook not only blocks access to the content but reports the request in its Government Requests Report. This content isn't invisible to everyone, just the country where it's deemed illegal.

The Community Standards site is broken down into four parts: "Keeping you safe," "Encouraging respectful behavior," "Keeping your account and personal information secure," and "Protecting your intellectual property." Topics that are covered include direct threats, self-injury, violence and graphic content, fraud and spam, managing accounts of the deceased, bullying and harassment, criminal activity, and more.

Facebook users facing an issue that's covered by the Community Standards should contact the social website by clicking on the "Report" link at the very top right-hand corner of the site. These users will be asked why the reported content is violating Facebook's standards. Of course, Facebook users can also block the content, stop following the person behind the offensive material, or contact the individual directly to see why he/she posted offensive content.

Bickert and Sonderby go on to reveal that the Global Government Requests Report for the second half of 2014 is now available for viewing. The document shows that Facebook is experiencing an increase in government requests. Even more, Facebook saw an 11 percent increase in content that's restricted by local law when compared to the second half of 2013.

"We publish this information because we want people to know the extent and nature of the requests we receive from governments and the policies we have in place to process them," Bickert and Sonderby said.

Their full report can be read here.

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  • PaulBags
    So probably they'll continue to allow misandrist hate speech, then.
    Reply
  • lancelot123
    So probably they'll continue to allow misandrist hate speech, then.
    You're thinking of Tumblr
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    "This content isn't invisible to everyone, just the country where it's deemed illegal." What if it goes against freedom? Should we condone such behavior? Reporting people for things that are "illegal" such as a female showing her face...and as a result she is beaten should be something Facebook should be aware is likely to happen. Doing business with a nation that would even consider this legal should put Mark Z in jail. Chasing capitalistic gains and abiding by immoral laws is about as low as a human being can go - we should stomp it out like it's going to kill us.

    It's time the United States holds it's own citizens to a higher standard of morality, and that has NOTHING to do with religion. Trade with other nations needs tighter stipulations. I believe that freedom from oppression and unjust persecution should be for all. The earliest Europeans to come here fled tyranny, and the surest way to return to it is to ignore what is right.
    Reply
  • Roy Henderson
    Hopefully this will be a leading indicator that facebook will publish clear guidleines as to how one might cancel a Facebook account.
    Reply
  • ccampy
    ERM that's simple go into settings and clcik the Burton to close your account
    Reply
  • poppy julio
    everyone just cancel your account and don't join any social network site until we are sure that we are free to do what WE want. Turn these pompus billionaires into paupers instantly..
    Reply
  • BulkZerker
    So probably they'll continue to allow misandrist hate speech, then.
    You're thinking of Tumblr

    And twitter... Or are they the same thing?
    Reply
  • Roy Henderson
    15495346 said:
    ERM that's simple go into settings and clcik the Burton to close your account

    SIMPLICITY is an overstated value when faced with cancelling facebook...there is no "Burton" to click on settings...requires far more than that
    Reply
  • hobbsmeerkat
    despite blood, gore and mutilation being against ToS, any time I try to report a post showing such imagery, I get ignored "because the post raises awareness against violence"... so that means i can post pictures of violence, gore, and human/animal mutilation as long as I "say" I stand against it and am only raising "awareness"?
    yeah... im calling BS...
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    The earliest Europeans to come here fled tyranny, and the surest way to return to it is to ignore what is right.

    Not sure going to someone elses land, taking it, and using slaves to build on it counts as "fleeing tyranny" - taking it with you maybe...
    Reply