After having received complaints about the insufficient clarity of user guidelines regarding nudity, hate speech, self-harm, violence and other criteria for being banned from Facebook, the social media company decided to clarify its principles on this touchy issue.

Hate speech (including any direct attack on someone based on their race, ethnicity, origin, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, as well as disease or disability) can be shared on Facebook only in order to criticize its practice or to raise awareness regarding its harmful effect. This is allowed only if the critical purpose is clear and the Facebook user unambiguously detaches himself/herself from the hate message in the content. Humor is allowed, as well as satire or social commentary, but the Page owners have to take responsibility for any “insensitive” content. Monika Bickert (Facebook’s head of global policy management) and Chris Sonderby (Facebook Deputy General Counsel) explained in their blog post announcing these changes that it is hard to design a global politics against hate speech on Facebook, because sometimes the site administrators lack context details, but they guaranteed that reported content is seriously evaluated.

As to nudity, images of genitalia are removed from Facebook and fully exposed adult bottoms are not allowed, either. Images of female breasts that include nipples are also restricted, unless they are pictures of mothers breastfeeding their children. Breasts with post-mastectomy scars are allowed, in order to raise cancer awareness. Breastfeeding used to be an issue in Facebook posts, because there were protests against censoring pictures of it in 2008 and once more in 2012. Nudity is allowed in paintings, sculptures and other artistic representations.

Facebook’s policy on dangerous organizations has also been clarified. Groups that plan to organize or have organized terrorist activity, groups involved in organized crime, and groups promoting hate speech as defined by the Facebook hate speech regulations are automatically banned from the social media platform. Content from other users that expresses support for this kind of groups (promoting violence, criminal activity or hate) is banned from Facebook. Users are not allowed to support or praise the heads of such organizations or express agreement with their violent acts. Threats to public celebrities are also removed and can cause a Facebook ban, although jokes about and criticism of famous people are allowed.

image source: Mashable