For the first time, Facebook spells out what content it bans

For the first time, Facebook spells out what content it bans

For the first time, Facebook spells out what content it bans

Moderators working for Facebook sift through millions of reports each week from users about inappropriate posts, groups or pages.

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The damage control is ongoing for Facebook, and as part of the effort, its VP of global product management Monika Bickert shared some details on the company's internal enforcement guidelines for what content is and is not allowed.

"You should, when you come to Facebook, understand where we draw these lines and what's OK and what's not OK", Bickert said.

Facebook is on the way to build on this process asking users for more context that'll help it make right decisions. After all, Facebook has been accused of various forms of censorship in the past.

The move to involve Facebook users more on standards for removing content comes as the social network fends off criticism on an array of fronts, including handling of people's data, spreading "fake news", and whether politics has tinted content removal decisions.

"In some cases, we make mistakes because our policies are not sufficiently clear to our content reviewers; when that's the case, we work to fill those gaps", writes Bickert.

Plus, there's another big change: if a post or photo of yours gets taken down, you can now ask Facebook to reconsider.

The rules update the short "community standards" guidelines Facebook has previously allowed users to see. Facebook will remove content about public figures if it's considered hate speech or a threat, however.

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We also provide some protections for immigration status. As to what counts as a direct attack, the company says it's any "violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation".

Facebook does not allow individuals or organizations involved in terrorist activity, organized hate, human trafficking, criminal activity and mass or serial murder to have a presence on the site. When this is the case, we allow the content... The company has faced backlash in the past over how hard it is to get in touch with Facebook to explain to them that a takedown was perhaps a little harsh.

We allow humor and social commentary related to these topics. But only if it is done "for the objective of raising awareness or educating others".

The social network is also adding the ability for users to appeal a decision they feel may have been wrongly enforced. The process for appeals, however, can sometimes take a very long time, if at all. "Second, providing these details makes it easier for everyone, including experts in different fields, to give us feedback so that we can improve the guidelines - and the decisions we make - over time".

There are also rules against violence and criminal behavior, which entails unsafe individual and organizations. Yet even he acknowledged the shortcomings of those systems: "Today we're just not there on that". Every week, our team seeks input from experts and organizations outside Facebook so we can better understand different perspectives on safety and expression, as well as the impact of our policies on different communities globally. "We also recognize that this is a challenging and sensitive issue", the community standards for the "Integrity and Authenticity" section reads. To start conversations and make connections people need to know they are safe. There is also a fine line between false news and satire or opinion.

Bickert, a former United States federal prosecutor, posed questions, provided background and kept the discussion moving.

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