Trying to understand Facebook’s Community Standards? Here’s the gist

Zuckerberg Testimony Congress
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

After a year in which Facebook faced ample scrutiny for its handling of various controversies (culminating in founder Mark Zuckerberg giving a testimony to Congress), the company has publicly revealed its standards for moderating content. Although Facebook always had some publicly visible standards, the new standards show what factors the company weighs when deciding whether to remove content from the site. You can read the full standards here, but if scrolling through several pages of text seems like a bit much, we’ve got the highlights.

Facebook claims its standards are built around three pillars: Safety (removing content that harms others), Voice (the ability for users to express diverse views and ideas), and Equity (applying the same standards to all users). In regards to that last point, Facebook allows for some relaxation of its standards depending on the context.

One of the broad categories of content that Facebook might remove is the kind that encourages violence or criminal behavior. Credible violence can include content or accounts that Facebook believes pose a realistic threat. The social network also forbids users associated with terrorist or hate groups, human trafficking, or other forms of organized crime. Finally, Facebook also cracks down on users buying, selling, or trading “regulated goods” — i.e., drugs or firearms — on the social network.

Under a category that it terms “Safety,” Facebook’s standards maintain that the company will remove posts that encourage self-harm or suicide, as well as posts that involve sexual exploitation (of children or adults). According to the standards, Facebook defaults to “removing sexual imagery to prevent the sharing of non-consensual or underage content,” though, the company also understands that nudity sometimes serves a public interest, such as in protests or artwork.

Facebook discover people

On that topic, Facebook might remove content deemed “objectionable,” which includes the aforementioned sexual activity, as well as graphic violence and hate speech, which Facebook defines as “a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease.”

Facebook’s community standards also include a section on “integrity and authenticity,” which covers a few things. Spam is verboten, as is fake news, especially after the public drubbing Facebook took after purveyors of fake news made use of the network during the 2016 presidential election. The community standards also emphasize that users shouldn’t misrepresent themselves on Facebook; you’re supposed to use your real name, and if you should happen to die, your relatives can have your account converted into a memorial, so nobody is making it seem like you’re posting from beyond the grave.

Finally, Facebook’s rules state that while users “own” and control any of the stuff they post on the site, they need to respect intellectual property laws. Basically, make sure you don’t infringe on any trademarks or copyrights!

Mobile

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Gaming

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.