Facebook Announces New Policies Regarding Names, Nudity and Controversial Content
Regulating shares among its 1.4 billion users across the world can be a slippery slope, the social network said.
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Facebook has released a new version of Community Standards regarding what kind of content is appropriate to share, clarifying its policies surrounding nudity, hate speech and the identities in which its users may traffic.
"Because of the diversity of our global community," Facebook wrote in announcing the changes, "please keep in mind that something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate our Community Standards."
After several drag queens' accounts were flagged last year for using names like Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess instead of their legal names, Facebook's new terms clarify that users may now connect using "their authentic identities" -- even if it isn't a legal moniker.
"There has been a lot of confusion from people who thought we were asking them to use what's on their driver's license," Facebook's head of global product policy, Monika Bickert, told Re/code. "That's not an accurate interpretation. We want people communicating using the name they actually use in real life."
The new guidelines, which are roughly three times as long as the previous version and were in the works for roughly a year, also specify how Facebook will handle posts containing nudity.
"We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks," the company writes. "We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring."
Facebook also added a new section entitled Dangerous Organizations, reports the BBC, which states that, in addition to banning terrorist organizations from Facebook, the site will now prohibit praise or support for such groups -- a point that hadn't been noted before.
Other clarifications include the barring of altered images intended to degrade victims, as well as the celebration of criminal activity. While hate speech is also banned, users are allowed to share examples in order to raise awareness -- though this intention must be clearly indicated.