Facebook recently updated its community guidelines to provide more clarity regarding contents that are allowed and prohibited to be shared on the social network.

Facebook Community Standards

In a blog post, Monika Bickert head of global policy management and Chris Sonderby, deputy general counsel at Facebook said the company’s objective is to provide people with a “place to share and connect freely and openly in a safe and secure environment.

Facebook Updates Guidelines To Give Clarity About Contents

According to them, the Community Standards are designed to help people understand what contents are acceptable to share on its platform. The executives pointed out that the social network’s standards are intended to empower and motivate people to treat people with empathy and respect.

Facebook reiterated its conviction regarding its policies related to bullying and harassment, criminal activity, dangerous organizations, hate speech, violence and graphic content as well as sexual violence and exploitation.

Bickert and Sonderby emphasized that the policies and standards of Facebook remains the same, but the updates provide more clarity and examples regarding what contents are permitted and prohibited to be shared on the social network.

“Billions of pieces of content are shared on Facebook every day. We hope these two updates help provide more clarity about the standards we have, whether they are our own Community Standards or those imposed by different laws around the world,” wrote Bickert and Sonderby.

Facebook divided its updated Community Standards into four sections:

  • Helping to keep you safe
  • Encouraging respectful behavior
  • Keeping your account and personal information secure and
  • Protecting your intellectual property

Facebook has always banned hate speech

According to Facebook, it is challenging to maintain one set of standards that meet the needs of a diverse global community. The social network giant noted the fact that people have different backgrounds and different ideas of what is appropriate to share.

Bickert and Sonderby said hate speech, a particularly challenging issue “has always been banned on Facebook.” According to them, the new Community Standards explains the company’s efforts to keep its platform free from abusive language.

“We understand that many countries have concerns about hate speech in their communities, so we regularly talk to governments, community members, academics and other experts from around the globe to ensure that we are in the best position possible to recognize and remove such speech from our community,” wrote Bickert and Sonderby.

Governments’ request for data and content restriction increased

Facebook’s latest Global Government Requests Report covers the second half of 2014, which included information regarding government requests for account data and content removal.

The social network giant reported an increase in government request for data and content restrictions during the period. Facebook said the amount of content restricted for violating local laws rose 11% to 9,707 pieces.  The social network giant said that number of government requests for account data slightly increased to 35,051.

“We will continue to scrutinize each government request and push back when we find deficiencies. We will also continue to push governments around the world to reform their surveillance practices in a way that maintains the safety and security of their people while ensuring their rights and freedoms are protected,” said Bickert and Sonderby.