Sometimes, conventional wisdom just isn’t enough when it comes to the question of what is appropriate online. Social media users received a bit of additional guidance when some new rules for Facebook were announced earlier today. The guidelines mainly address nudity-oriented material fleshing out, so to speak, previous guidelines that were short on details. The updated guides are presented on Facebook’s “Community Standards” page.
U.K.-based The Independent reports that the new rules for Facebook explicitly ban “fully exposed buttocks” as well as “images of female breasts if they include the nipple.” Sexually explicit content featuring individuals who have not consented to release of the material, often referred to as “revenge porn,” is also banned under Facebook’s new policies. The guidelines also indicate that pictures depicting breastfeeding or works of art are permitted by the social media behemoth.
Facebook also takes aim against terrorism with its new rules. According to Phys, a website clearinghouse of science and technology news, the move follows an impassioned and public plea from French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve for technology and social media enterprises to create methods to prevent terrorists from online recruitment and fundraising. The increasing role of social media in the recruitment efforts of terrorist has been a growing source of global concern, especially in light of a recent attempt by three British teens to join ISIS in Syria.
Quoting Facebook’s official announcement, The Independent notes that the new guidelines do not include major changes to pre-existing policies on hate speech but special sections are now included that address criminal activity, self-injury, and bullying.
With millions upon millions of users, Facebook walks a delicate line in their efforts at regulating self-expression online. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, spoke on the company’s efforts in an interview with The New York Times.
“We’re trying to strike the balance based on the way our community works. The landscape is complicated,” Bickert explained.
According to Bickert, Facebook will continue to evaluate complains regarding offensive or objectionable content using live employees as opposed to automated, computerized methods. A typical review of such content can take up to 48 hours.
Given social media’s propensity to adjust and change with the times, it’s a safe bet that new threats and controversies will arise despite the efforts of social media to curb problematic content. Whether or not the new rules for Facebook adequately address such considerations for the time being, the tried-and-true guidelines of common sense and consideration for others will likely endure as the best possible advice. Namely, if you have to think twice about posting a racy selfie or a mean-spirited comment…think again.
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