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Facebook Publishes Internal Enforcement Guidelines & Announces Appeals Process

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Facebook Publishes Internal Enforcement Guidelines & Announces Appeals Process
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Facebook announced the publication of their internal documents used by their moderators as well as expanding on a way to appeal decisions made on banned posts. The formal name of the document is Internal Enforcement Guidelines.

Why Did Facebook Make the Guidelines Public?

Facebook’s Monika Bickert, Vice Presiddent of Global Policy Management published the following reasons why they are making these guidelines public:

“We decided to publish these internal guidelines for two reasons. First, the guidelines will help people understand where we draw the line on nuanced issues. Second, providing these details makes it easier for everyone, including experts in different fields, to give us feedback so that we can improve the guidelines – and the decisions we make – over time.”

How Does Facebook Enforce it’s Posting Rules?

Facebook uses a combination of artificial intelligence, user reports and a worldwide team of 7,500 content reviewers. They analyze posts, images, and videos in order to determine if they are violating community standards.

It’s a difficult job because Facebook aims to create a safe place for people to connect with each other while also policing the speech. Anyone who’s ever moderated a forum community can tell you that it’s easy to make a mistake and over moderate a member’s post. Recognizing that mistakes can be made is probably a reason why Facebook decided to implement an appeal process.

How Will Facebook’s Appeal Process Work?

This feature will be rolling out over the course of a year. According to Facebook, the goal will initially focus on appeals related to posts removed for nudity/sex, hate speech or graphic violence. Here is how Facebook state the appeal process will work:

“If your photo, video or post has been removed because we found that it violates our Community Standards, you will be notified, and given the option to request additional review.

This will lead to a review by our team (always by a person), typically within 24 hours.
If we’ve made a mistake, we will notify you, and your post, photo or video will be restored.”

Reaction From Social Media Professionals

I asked Melissa Fach, the Community & Social Manager at Pubcon and owner of SEOAware Internet Marketing if she had any insights to share about Facebook’s new transparency about their guidelines.

“I think FB is in major overhaul mode and they need to work hard to change their rep.

What I like is the new appeal process – not for those of us that know what is okay and what isn’t, but for those that are ignorant about some of the rules. This gives them an opportunity to learn.

The crazy narratives on Facebook need to change. I hope we are moving in that direction.”

What do the Guidelines Cover?

The moderation guidelines are divided into six sections:

  1. Violence and Criminal Behavior
  2. Safety
  3. Objectionable Content
  4. Integrity and Authenticity
  5. Respecting Intellectual Property
  6. Content-Related Requests

The section on Objectionable Content may be of interest to many folks. This section is divided into four sections, covering the following topics:

  1. Hate Speech
  2. Graphic Violence
  3. Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity
  4. Cruel and Insensitive

You can read the entire Facebook Internal Enforcement Guidelines here.

Images by Shutterstock, modified by Author

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Roger Montti

Roger Montti is an SEO consultant & web publisher with nearly 20 years experience. He offers Site Audits for ranking ... [Read full bio]

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