Facebook explains why it bans some content, publishes internal enforcement guidelines

26 April, 2018, 12:39 | Author: Chad Mckenzie

It has also published political ads and streamlined its privacy controls after coming under fire for its lax approach to protecting consumer data.

Bickert revealed to Reuters that the company holds a special meeting called "the Content Standards Forum" on a bi-weekly basis to discuss its content policy.

"For the first time we're giving you the right to appeal our decisions on individual posts so you can ask for a second opinion when you think we've made a mistake", Facebook Vice President of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

Many of those rules were already made clear on Facebook's "community standards" page.

The updated community standards will mirror the rules its 7,600 moderators use to review questionable posts, then decide if they should be pulled off Facebook.

For the first time, Facebook said it would also introduce a mechanism that will allow users to appeal decisions to take down content.

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

According to the Facebook Newsroom Blog, the company defines terrorism as "Any non-governmental organization that engages in premeditated acts of violence against persons or property to intimidate a civilian population, government, or worldwide organization to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim".

They fall under different headings and some of them overlap, but majority are about making Facebook a "safe" and authentic place for its users.

"We want people to know our standards and we want to give people clarity", Bickert, said, adding that she hoped publishing the guidelines would spark dialogue. "We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves". Moderators have struggled to tell the difference between someone posting a slur as an attack and someone who was using the slur to tell the story of their own victimization. The median time required for takedowns was less than one minute in the first quarter of the year, the company said.

Facebook employs 7,500 people, 40 percent more than previous year, to review content and determine whether it should be allowed on the site.

The guidelines apply to every country in which Facebook operates, and have been translated into more than 40 languages.

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Almost a year ago, The Guardian got hold of Facebook's internal content moderation guidelines, and made it public. When a post is removed, you can take advantage and appeal the issue.

Facebook has recently been grappling with backlash for how it handled the data breach scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. Now, you can appeal to have deleted photos, videos, and posts put back on your timeline.

An appeal will be reviewed by a content reviewer within 24 hours, and if the post is deemed okay by Facebook's human team, it'll be restored.

By issuing the 27-page rules, Facebook is attempting to provide users with a better understanding of why the content is taken down from the platform so that there is less confusion, anger or frustration when people disagree with whatever decision the company makes. "We will share more details about these initiatives as we finalise them", the post said.

For years, Facebook has faced harsh criticism for not doing enough to moderate hate speech, promote terrorism, or broadcast violence on its site. We use a combination of artificial intelligence and reports from people to identify posts, pictures or other content that likely violates our Community Standards.

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