Facebook updates banned content guidelines, including what nudity can be shared

New updates are about three times as long as the old ones, and provide much more detail

Andrew Griffin
Monday 16 March 2015 09:27 GMT

Facebook has laid out in more detail what content can be posted on the site — and what updates will get users banned.

The new guidelines describe exactly what kind of nudity can and can't be shared, as well as including a whole section about "dangerous organisations".

The update provides more detail than ever on what kinds of nudity are banned. Previously, the site only provided vague "limitations" about what couldn't be posted.

The updates now explicitly outlaw "fully exposed buttocks" and "images of female breasts if they include the nipple". The bans affect CGI nudity as well, in addition to text posts that describe sexual acts in "vivid detail". The site has also explicitly banned revenge porn — the sharing of naked images without the subject's consent — which Twitter and Reddit have also acted to put a stop to.

The site explicitly says that it will allow pictures of breastfeeding women, or images "showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring". Pictures of paintings, sculptures and art depicting nude people is also allowed.

But the site has drawn complaints for its rules on violent content, which is still not explicitly banned in updates. The company has had troubled deciding whether to show graphic videos — weighing up its desire to allow the free sharing of information against user complaints — including allowing and then explicitly banning beheading videos.

Instead, the site tells users to warn their audience that updates include graphic violence — but provides no way of stopping videos from playing automatically, meaning that they may inadvertently watch the video anyway. Facebook can add those warnings itself, but only when videos are reported.

The site will still rely on users to complain about problem content, and has said that it has no plans to develop technology to do so automatically.

Facebook's new rules also have special sections for criminal activity, self-injury and bullying, all of which it says it will do more to remove.

It has not changed its hate speech policy, and the list of banned topics that mostly included such problem subjects. But it now warns users against sharing such updates, and tells them to make clear that they are doing so to raise awareness.

The new policy is 2,500 words long — about three times as many as the previous version.

As well as replacing the old policy on the Facebook website, the new guidelines will be sent to anyone who complains about posts. The social network said that it had rewritten the rules partly to make more clear why updates weren't removed when users complained about them.

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