Improve the Safeguarding and protective capacity of Facebook’s Community Standards

Improve the Safeguarding and protective capacity of Facebook’s Community Standards

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Facebook is an immensely powerful method of communication, as evidenced by it’s huge capacity to share messages internationally across communities. 

We value freedom of speech. In equal importance we must also value the freedom to report and for this to be meaningful and effective as both a Safeguarding and protective measure. 

Facebook Community Standards has failed to appropriately respond to reports including the following; race, religion, gender, disability and sexuality hate speech, bullying, partially nude images of teenage girls, jokes about child sexual abuse, islamophobic content, racist content, anti semitic content, photographs and videos mocking people with disabilities, photographs of racial abuse. This is not an exhaustive list.

Alongside this, there appears to be less power in reporting Facebook pages with a hate agenda, where posts are often shared without the source being thoroughly investigated. This is often a tool for sharing hateful propaganda.

Finally there is often no protection in challenging comments, posts and pages when bullying begins (also referred to as trolling) and a report to Facebooks Community Standards fails to respond adequately.

I am asking for your support in improving the Safeguarding response and protective capacity of Facebooks Community Standards.

I believe Facebook has a duty of care to rewrite its policy, specifically the following points; We err on the side of allowing content, even when some find it objectionable. Moreover, at times we will allow content that might otherwise breach our standards if we feel that it is newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest. Community Standards can sometimes appear less nuanced than we would like, leading to an outcome that is at odds with their underlying purpose. For that reason, in some cases, and when we are provided with additional context, we make a decision based on the spirit, rather than the letter, of the policy.

On this basis, Facebook should permit a report to include a section for additional context in order that a thorough investigation can be completed. 

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