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Facebook clarifies rules for content, including definition of nudity

John Ribeiro | March 16, 2015
Facebook has released a new version of its community standards, defining in detail what it means by offensive content on issues such as nudity, bullying and hate speech.

The social network had to back down last year when its demand for real names was objected to by drag queens and the larger LGBT community. The company clarified that its policy was not to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name, but that they should use the authentic name they use in real life.

While the site continues to ban hate speech, and includes the same list of banned topics, it now clarifies that people should be allowed to share examples of others' hate speech to raise awareness of the issue, but they must indicate their intent clearly.

Facebook also reiterated its earlier stand that it may take down or restrict access to content if it violates the law in a particular country, even if the content does not violate its community standards. It said it will contest government requests for take downs if they are found to be "unreasonable or overbroad." But if the content is found to be illegal in that country, it may restrict access to it in that country, but may not necessarily remove it from Facebook entirely, according to the blog post.

The company also released its report on government requests for content removal and account data, and U.S. national security requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and National Security Letters. The content restricted for violation of local laws went up to 9,707 items in the second half of 2014, up by 11 percent from the previous half. Turkey and Russia were among the countries that saw increases in demand for content restriction, while Pakistan had a decline.

 

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