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FACEBOOK censorship rules leaked for first time by whistleblower

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facebook-porn“crushed heads, limbs, etc are ok as long as no insides are showing”

 “any OBVIOUS sexual activity, even if naked parts are hidden from view”

“deep flesh wounds are ok to show”

A FACEBOOK moderator has blown the whistle on the rules Facebook uses to censor users postings.

The censoring, often done by cheap labour in developing countries, covers everything from sex, to nudity, to gore, racism, and profanity

A document given to the staff of one third party content moderation firm tells them to delete “any OBVIOUS sexual activity, even if naked parts are hidden from view”. Meanwhile “deep flesh wounds are ok to show; excessive blood is ok to show” and “crushed heads, limbs, etc are ok as long as no insides are showing”.

“Slurs or racial comments of any kind” should be deleted, it says, but “humour overrules hate speech UNLESS slurs are used or humour is not evident”, meaning that comments reported to Facebook as hate speech should remain online if they are judged to be in jest and do not include racial slurs.   The rules are used by the third party firm to screen photographs, text and videos that have been “flagged” by one of Facebook’s 850 million users.   The allowed versus disallowed list is bizarre to say the least:

Snot is okay -  urine, faeces, vomit, semen and ear wax are banned. Unless in cartoon form.

Depictions of illegal drug use are banned EXCEPT marijuana “unless context is clear that the poster is selling/buying/growing”.   The rules were passed to the US gossip website by a disgruntled former employee of the third party firm, oDesk, who said the $1 per hour he received for screening Facebook photographs was “humiliating”.    Aspokesman for Facebook said: “In response to the leak of its censorship rules, Facebook sought to reassure users their details were not being passed to third parties.   “In an effort to quickly and efficiently process the millions of reports we receive every day, we have found it helpful to contract third parties to provide precursory classification of a small proportion of reported content.

“These contractors are subject to rigorous quality controls and we have implemented several layers of safeguards to protect the data of those using our service.   “Additionally, no user information beyond the content in question and the source of the report is shared. We have, and will continue, to escalate the most serious reports internally, and all decisions made by contractors are subject to extensive audits.   “We are constantly improving our processes and review our contractors on an ongoing basis. This document provides a snapshot in time of our standards with regards to one of those contractors.”  

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