Facebook caves on censorship, will allow more NSFW news content

facebook nsfw news policy headquarters zuckerberg
How does Facebook decide what is newsworthy? With almost impenetrable content policies in place, the social network is not — and has never claimed to be — an open platform built on the tenets of free speech and expression.

In the past, if you published content in violation of the company’s Community Standards you paid the price, by having the post removed and, worse still, your account suspended. However, that could all be about to change following an increase in pressure from Facebook’s community of users.

On Friday, the company announced it will start allowing more “newsworthy” content on to its service even if those items break the rules. Facebook claims it will work with its community and partners to decide what is “significant” or “important” to public interest. The changes will be implemented using 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,” said Facebook execs Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky in a blog post.

Over the past year, Facebook has repeatedly been forced to reinstate content it had initially removed due to its so-called sensitive nature. From fatal shootings captured on Facebook Live videos to historically significant photos containing nudity, the type of graphic material being uploaded to the site clearly requires an intricate appraisal process.

Until now, Facebook has increasingly relied on machine-learning algorithms to serve up relevant news based on its users’ interests. The company’s system has faced criticism over its inability to separate the real news from the fake. Consequently, it seems Facebook is now reaching out to real people to help it to grasp what is best for its community. The company said it will be working closely with experts, including journalists, photographers, law enforcement, and safety advocates to improve the type of content it allows. We reached out to Facebook for a comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Social media is already the primary source for news for much of the American public. It’s likely the number of people discovering and debating news through sites such as Facebook and Twitter has only increased during this election season. Yet the political content being published on the platform has reportedly caused internal divisions between its staff and management. According to a report published earlier on Friday, Facebook employees had argued certain posts by presidential candidate Donald Trump should be removed due to their violation of the site’s hate speech policy.

It is now clear that these debates, both internal and external, are shaping the type of content you will see on the world’s biggest social network. And it may not always be to your liking.

Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.