The good news for Facebook is that should start seeing fewer complaints about posts it decided to censor. The bad news for Facebook is that it will likely start seeing more complaints about posts it didn’t censor.
Vice president of global public policy Joel Kaplan and vp of global operations and media partnerships Justin Osofsky announced in a Newsroom post Friday that the social network will allow more “newsworthy” items that violate its community standards to remain live.
Facebook has caught heat in recent weeks for censoring posts, and while this move may ease pressure on that front, it will likely lead to more heat from users who object to posts that would have otherwise been removed.
Kaplan and Osofsky wrote:
In recent weeks, we have gotten continued feedback from our community and partners about our community standards and the kinds of images and stories permitted on Facebook. We are grateful for the input and want to share an update on our approach.
Observing global standards for our community is complex. Whether an image is newsworthy or historically significant is highly subjective. Images of nudity or violence that are acceptable in one part of the world may be offensive–or even illegal–in another. Respecting local norms and upholding global practices often come into conflict. And people often disagree about what standards should be in place to ensure a community that is both safe and open to expression.
In the weeks ahead, we’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest–even if they might otherwise violate our standards. We will work with our community and partners to explore exactly how to do this, both through new tools and approaches to enforcement. Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them.
As always, our goal is to channel our community’s values and to make sure our policies reflect our community’s interests. We’re looking forward to working closely with experts, publishers, journalists, photographers, law-enforcement officials and safety advocates about how to do better when it comes to the kinds of items we allow. And we’re grateful for the counsel of so many people who are helping us try to get this right.
Readers: What are your thoughts on this move by Facebook?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.