Facebook has long operated in secret when it came to deciding what content the company censored. This lack of transparency has led to many confusing incidents and controversies for Facebook—both in what the site removes and in the questionable content it has allowed to remain. However, all that changed this week when Facebook released its full, 27-page list of censorship guidelines.
Some of these rules include banning nude pictures of children even when they’re posted by parents, almost all images of female nipples, and confessions of crimes. The site also bans more specific sorts of content, like posts that claim the victim of a tragedy is lying or paid to lie. It’s also not okay to advocate for violence due to the outcome of an election.
“We want people to know our standards, and we want to give people clarity,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said in an interview. “We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves.”
The motivations behind such a dramatic move are obviously clear. Facebook has struggled to regain public trust following a wave of recent data and privacy scandals. And by making a splashy release like this, Facebook likely hopes it can restore its rep by illustrating its dedication to privacy. Of course, only time will tell if that will work.
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