Facebook has recently released the internal guidelines that are used in implementing the company’s community standards policies. The guidelines direct the company’s 7,500 content reviewers in determining which posts and content should be removed from the social media platform. Based on the internal guidelines, posts that either promote violent crime and fraud or proclaim support for terrorists and criminal organizations are prohibited on the social media platform. Moreover, Facebook also removes content that facilitates the sales of illegal drugs and firearms. To reduce instances of bullying and harassment, Facebook’s content reviewers remove posts that degrade the character of another user, encourage harassment, and promote sexual assault. With regards to sexual activity, only digitally created content that is developed for educational, satirical, and humorous purposes are retained on the platform. Hate speech, posts that disseminate private information of another person without prior consent, content that promote suicide and self-injury, and nude images of underage individuals are also automatically removed from Facebook.
Facebook noted that sanctions against users who violate the community standards will depend primarily on the severity of the violation and number of times that a user has violated the policies of the tech firm. Usually, users are warned for the first violation, while repeat offenders may lose the ability to post on the social networking site. In the worst case scenario, Facebook may deactivate the profiles of repeat offenders. However, violators may appeal the decisions made by the content reviewers by requesting for an additional review once they are notified of the violation. The content will then be reviewed by reviewers, and the post will then be restored if it has been found that the content was mistakenly removed by Facebook. At this point, only content removed for possible nudity, hate speech, and graphic violence can be appealed by users, although it seems that the company is looking into expanding the appeals process to other forms of violations.
The social media giant has also addressed concerns regarding the inconsistency of its content reviewers. A report released late last year highlighted cases wherein content reviewers did not define posts as hate speech even though users have already reported the posts in violation of Facebook’s guidelines. The company noted that reviewers now undergo extensive training, and the performance of reviewers are audited on a weekly basis. Reviewers may also seek the guidance of the management who are with the reviewers whenever they encounter confusing cases.
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