Facebook censor policy is one of the mysteries of our times – we know it happens, but we have no idea how it is done. That, however is about to change, as The Guardian leaves an extensive insight on some of the censorship policies that have been leaked by the newspaper. The social network’s control policies came under major fire in the previous US presidential campaigns.
Facebook Policy Manuals
The extent is such, and indeed it should be, that the control policies consist of not one outline or policy, but many manuals. The manuals reveal the criteria used to judge if a post is too violent, sexual, racist, and hateful or supports terrorism.
The policy procedure revealed by The Guardian also shows that the Facebook moderators work with stringent timelines. The overwhelming rules and clauses mean that the moderators have to make split second decisions to see which content is kosher, and which isn’t.
The leaks come at a time where global pressure against Facebook is increasing. Many governments have now demanded clarity from Facebook on how the content is being curated.
The extent of policing
The newspaper claims that it had managed to get access to more than 100 manuals meant for internal moderator training. Facebook has already acknowledged that the documents leaked by the newspaper are authentic and such manuals are used.
The manuals include a massive array of sensitive subjects including, but not limited to
- Hate speech
- Revenge porn
- Threats of violence
The problem however, comes from the information revealed from the interviews with Facebook moderators at work. The anonymous moderators claim that the policies used to police the content remain “inconsistent” and “peculiar”. The particular complaint has been against “sexual content” which remains extremely confusing and difficult to judge.
The Great Facebook Debate
Human right activists and Free speech advocates have always maintained that Facebook has unprecedented influence over almost 2 billion people. The Open Rights Group (ORG) campaigns increased transparency for Facebook policy checks.