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Brief: Facebook’s secret censorship guidelines leaked

Photo credit: Eduardo Woo.

The news:

  • The Guardian reports that it has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, flowcharts, and spreadsheets that Facebook uses to moderate content posted and shared by users on the social network.
  • The leaked documents supposedly reveal the guidelines used by Facebook’s moderators to analyze and censor content relating to topics as wide-ranging as hate speech, pornography, racism, self-harm, terrorism, match-fixing, and cannibalism, among others.
  • The rules suggest, for example, that Facebook will allow live-streamed attempts at self-harm because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress.” In another example, “handmade” art showing nudity and sexual activity is permitted, while similar art that is “digitally made” is prohibited.

Why it matters:

  • Social media companies have come under increasing political pressure to take a more active role in moderating potentially harmful or threatening content posted by their users.
  • Some observers have argued that the platforms should be regulated like mainstream broadcasters and publishers, as they now represent the main source of news for many people.
  • While the leaked documents provide some insight into Facebook’s approach to tackling this problem, The Guardian reports that many of the company’s moderators “have concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies,” with “those on sexual content… said to be the most complex and confusing.”

Source: The Guardian


This post Brief: Facebook’s secret censorship guidelines leaked appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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