Social media giant, Facebook, is facing criticism after the leaked documents, showing how the platform handles and filter out issues such as hate speech, suicide attempt, and pornography.
“The company is trying to protect freedom of speech”, said Facebook. The media platform will not discourage and censor people attempting suicide on livestream, according to the leaked document.
The leaked document was released by The Guardian and the contents which it published are as follow.
- Remarks such as “Someone shoot Trump” should be deleted, because as a head of state he is in a protected category. But it can be permissible to say: “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat”, or “fuck off and die” because they are not regarded as credible threats.
- Videos of violent deaths, while marked as disturbing, do not always have to be deleted because they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.
- Some photos of non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children do not have to be deleted or “actioned” unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element.
- Photos of animal abuse can be shared, with only extremely upsetting imagery to be marked as “disturbing”.
- All “handmade” art showing nudity and sexual activity are allowed but digitally made art showing sexual activity is not.
- Videos of abortions are allowed, as long as there is no nudity.
- Facebook will allow people to livestream attempts to self-harm because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress”.
- Anyone with more than 100,000 followers on a social media platform is designated as a public figure – which denies them the full protections given to private individuals.
The platform has been in a difficult position due to its policy of filtering out malicious and harmful content. Recently Facebook announced that the company is hiring 3000 employees to curb the problem of malicious content and stop livestream when someone is trying to attempt a suicide. But the leaked document by The Guardian says otherwise.
The problem got worse when a 20-year-old Thai man broadcasted live video on the Facebook, which showed him killing his baby before committing suicide.
Facebook has yet to react to the document which the Guardian has released.