Facebook Details the 4 Values That Serve as the Basis for Its Community Standards

Authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity

Facebook's goal remains 'to create a place for expression and give people voice' Facebook
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Facebook is attempting to simplify the values that serve as the basis for its community standards into four key concepts: authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity.

Vice president of global policy management Monika Bickert said in a Newsroom post Thursday that the social network’s goal remains “to create a place for expression and give people voice.”

She said that as Facebook has introduced new products, features and services, its community standards have “become more expansive and nuanced,” which is why they were updated to reflect the four values mentioned above.

Bickert wrote in introducing the four values, “We want people to be able to talk openly about the issues that matter to them, even if some may disagree or find them objectionable. In some cases, we allow content which would otherwise go against our community standards if it is newsworthy and in the public interest. We do this only after weighing the public interest value against the risk of harm, and we look to international human rights standards to make these judgments.”

She also outlined how the four values will factor in when content is limited or removed:

  • Authenticity: We want to make sure the content people are seeing on Facebook is authentic. We believe that authenticity creates a better environment for sharing, and that’s why we don’t want people using Facebook to misrepresent who they are or what they’re doing.
  • Safety: We are committed to making Facebook a safe place. Expression that threatens people has the potential to intimidate, exclude or silence others and isn’t allowed on Facebook.
  • Privacy: We are committed to protecting personal privacy and information. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves, and to choose how and when to share on Facebook and to connect more easily.
  • Dignity: We believe that all people are equal in dignity and rights. We expect that people will respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others.

Bickert concluded that while Facebook’s community standards were developed to be comprehensive—providing as an example content that may not be considered hateful but that is removed for violating a different policy—” We recognize that words mean different things or affect people differently depending on their local community, language or background. We work hard to account for these nuances while also applying our policies consistently and fairly to people and their expression.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.