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Facebook clarifies community guidelines

Facebook has updated it's 'community guidelines' in order to clarify what users are allowed or nor allowed to post of the social networking site.

FACEBOOK has recently updated its ‘community guidelines’ in an effort to eliminate the confusion surrounding the content sharing rules of the site.

These rules have been put in place to protect the site’s users against dangerous, offensive or distasteful content. “Our goal is to give people a place to share and connect freely and openly, in a safe and secure environment.” wrote Monika Bickert, head of global policy management, and Chris Sonderby, deputy general counsel, in a press release.

But, since the inception of the policies the social media giant has been fighting a constant battle to find a balance between allowing freedom of speech and censoring content that is considered dangerous or offensive.

The social platform has always relied on its billions of users to monitor each other and to report any offensive or inappropriate content. However, it has often come under fire, as some users felt that Facebook had removed content that wasn’t dangerous or offensive, and had allowed other content that the users deemed inappropriate.

For this reason Facebook decided to clarify its their rules – helping users understand which content they are allowed to share and which content might get their accounts suspended.

Some users have already begun to critique and point out flaws in the new and explicit guidelines, and it would seem that Facebook still faces a long way to perfecting its guidelines.

– Nudity. In the updated version the site explained that content containing explicit sexual acts, exposed buttocks, women’s breasts (showing nipples) as well as genitals are strictly prohibited. However, images of women breastfeeding and photos of post-mastectomy scarring would be allowed as well as paintings, sculptures and other art illustrating nudity. Sexual content posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes will also be allowed.

– Violence. The site stated that content illustrating violence or graphic content will only be removed if it is shared for “sadistic pleasure or to celebrate or glorify violence”, or if the content is intended to incite violence or if it involves hate speech or bullying (attacking a person’s gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability). Content promoting suicide or self harm (including mutilation and eating disorders) will also be removed. But, the content will be allowed if it is shared in the efforts of raising awareness.

– Criminal acts. Any criminal acts posted on Facebook will not only be removed, but will also be reported to the authorities. This includes delinquent crimes, such as knocking down mailboxes, to serious crimes such as threatening public as well as private individuals and dealing drugs. Content supporting terrorism or organised crime will also be removed.

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