Facebook revamps its user guidelines

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 - 8:19

Facebook is providing the public with more information about what material is banned on the social network.

Its revamped community standards now include a separate section on "dangerous organisations" and give more details about what types of nudity it allows to be posted.

The US firm said it hoped the new guidelines would provide "clarity".

One of its safety advisers praised the move but said that it was "frustrating" other steps had not been taken.

Facebook says about 1.4 billion people use its service at least once a month

Buttocks ban

The new version of the guidelines runs to nearly 2,500 words, nearly three times as long as before.

The section on nudity, in particular, is much more detailed than the vague talk of "limitations" that featured previously.

Facebook now states that images "focusing in on fully exposed buttocks" are banned, as are "images of female breasts if they include the nipple".

It adds that the restrictions extend to digitally-created content, unless posts are for educational or satirical purposes.

Likewise, text-based descriptions of sexual acts that contain "vivid detail" are forbidden.

However, Facebook adds that it will "always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring".

Other sections with new details include:

Bullying - images altered to "degrade" an individual and videos of physical bullying posted to shame the victim are now expressly forbidden

Hate speech - while the site maintains the same list of banned topics, it now adds that people are allowed to share examples of others' hate speech in order to raise awareness of the issue, but they must "clearly indicate" that this is their purpose

Criminal activity - the network now states that users are prohibited from celebrating any crimes they have committed, but adds that they are allowed to propose that an illegal activity should be legalized

Self-injury - the site says that it will remove content that identifies victims and targets them for attack, even if done humorously. But it says that it does not consider "body modification" to be a type of self-injury. (BBC)