Facebook leaked documents on its policy and rulebook

Ever wondered what are the rules and guidelines that Facebook follows? On what basis does it decide what posts are allowed by its 2 billion users? Facebook has leaked documents about its roles and ethics for the first time ever.

As investigated and reported by Guardian, the social media giant has come up on how it moderates issues such as hate speech, terrorism, pornography and self-harm on the site. As a matter of fact, Facebook reviews more than 6.5 million reports of possible fake accounts every week!

“Revenge porn” is one of the categories which have overwhelmed the moderators who are supposed to take decisions in 10 seconds or so. Many content moderators of Facebook have shown concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies. Those on sexual content are reportedly said to be the most complex and confusing.

Facebook didn’t comment back specifically but confirmed that users’ safety is its overriding concern always. “Keeping people on Facebook safe is the most important thing we do. We work hard to make Facebook as safe as possible while enabling free speech. This requires a lot of thought into detailed and often difficult questions, and getting it right is something we take very seriously", Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monica Bickert said in a statement.

Guardian said, “Facebook confirmed that it was using software to intercept graphic content before it went on the website, but it was still in its early stages. The leaked documents included internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts.”

Investigation of more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts have been made that hints at what Facebook does to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm. That also includes guidelines on match-fixing and cannibalism among several others.

Facebook moderators have been supplied files with these rules since a year:

  • Remarks such as “Someone shoot Trump” should be deleted (no harsh comments on heads of the country who are in the protected category!). However, to say: “To snap a bitch’s neck, mak sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat”, or “fuck off and die” are allowed as they are supposedly not credible threats.
  • Videos of violent deaths, (disturbing), don’t have to be deleted as they create awareness of issues like mental illness.
  • Non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children may remain “un-actioned” unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element.
  • Photos of animal abuse allowed to share, but with extremely upsetting imagery to be marked as “disturbing”.
  • All “handmade” art showing nudity and sexual activity is allowed, but no digitally made art showing sexual activity.
  • Videos of abortions are allowed, (however, no nudity).
  • Livestream attempts to self-harm is allowed because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress”.
  • Anyone with more than 100,000 followers would be designated as a public figure that denies them the full protections given to private individuals.


(Source: The Guardian)

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