The tens of thousands of Iowans who frequent Facebook are getting used to the social networking website’s managers doctoring policies. A few days ago, new standards were announced about what can and cannot be posted in terms of bullying, harassment, nudity and graphic content.
Thor Schrock, a technology consultant in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says if a terrorist group posts a video with violent content, it’s removed immediately.
“However, if you are a Christian activist who is worried about the slaughter of Christians in Iraq and you post a video on your account, the exact same video the terrorists would have posted, then it’s okay because you’re trying to raise awareness,” Schrock says. “So, what it comes down to is, Facebook is trying to determine the intent of the person who is posting.”
This latest change in policy, Schrock says, stems from an effort a few months ago to raise awareness about breastfeeding and the photos that were posted offended some users. “Facebook has made the clarification now that the bare breast is not allowed unless you’re breast feeding or unless you’re showing a nude statue which is considered art, then that’s okay,” Schrock says. “As far as mooning people and stuff like that, it goes back to the definition of pornography. It’s hard to define it but you know it when you see it.”
The new rules help clarify what is and is not allowed on the website. Schrock says Facebook relies heavily on users reporting content which they think is inappropriate. “The trouble is, what Facebook does is, they don’t actually actively police their users,” Schrock says. “They wait for someone to report that a user has violated the rules and then they look into it and make a decision based on the content there.” Schrock says users can also self-police the site and simply block content they don’t want to see or “unfriend” the people who routinely post it.
By Karla James