Another Reason To #DeleteFacebook…. Facebook Guidelines Apparently Allow Users To Call For Death of Public Figures

From the “are you kidding me?” file comes the news that Facebook’s own bullying and harassment policy explicitly allows for “public figures” to be targeted in ways otherwise banned on the site, including “calls for [their] death,” according to a tranche of internal moderator guidelines leaked to The Guardian.

Public figures are defined by Facebook to include people whose claim to fame may be simply a large social media following or infrequent coverage in local newspapers. They are considered to be permissible targets for certain types of abuse “because we want to allow discussion, which often includes critical commentary of people who are featured in the news,” Facebook explains to its moderators. It comes as social networks face renewed criticism over abuse on their platforms, including of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and of professional footballers, in particular black stars such as Marcus Rashford.Facebook, which also owns Instagram, has changed its policies in response to the criticism, introducing new rules to cover abuse sent through direct messages and committing to cooperate with law enforcement over hate speech. In the detailed guidelines seen by the Guardian, running to more than 300 pages and dating from December 2020, Facebook spells out how it differentiates between protections for private and public individuals.

How does that even begin to make sense? This completely blows my mind. In any case, here’s a random thought. Regardless of what Facebook’s internal policies are, they don’t override local laws. So for those of you who think that this means that this is a free for all for public figures that you don’t like, you should be careful. While Facebook might not mind you calling for a politician’s death, the cops will.

This is something that highlights why Facebook needs to cease to exist as it is becoming increasingly clear that the platform does more harm than good. Thus I would strongly suggest that you #DeleteFacebook and send a message to Mark Zuckerberg that this is not acceptable.

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