Despite its vast network of users and services, social networking giant Facebook has unwittingly earned a bad name for censorship. But, Facebook now wants to make amends and has introduced some necessary changes for the same.
Though, according to Joel Kaplan, VP Global Public Policy, observing global standards for our community is complex. Whether an image is newsworthy or historically significant is highly subjective, but moving forward the company has decided that it will show images and stories that are deemed “newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate
Kaplan added that after receiving feedback from users and partners over “recent weeks,” the social networking company will no longer put as great of an emphasis on censorship than it had previously.
Over the past couple of months, Facebook has received immense backlash for censoring content on its platform. The company was recently criticized for taking down the historic Vietnam War photo often referred to as ‘Napalm Girl’ that showcases a nude Vietnamese girl crying and running on the street during the war.
Before that, Zuckerberg’s company also had to face allegations of a perceived bias against conservative ideas. Then, just last week, the company also censored a video from Swedish Cancer Society that spread awareness about breast cancer. Facebook has since restored the content and apologized for the same. Within a day of this mishap, it has also updated its community guidelines to include ‘newsworthy’ graphic content.
Though Facebook doesn’t have fixed guidelines at the moment as to how it will execute its new policy, Kaplan said it plans to work with its community and partners to come up with new tools and an improved outlook.
“Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them. As always, our goal is to channel our community’s values, and to make sure our policies reflect our community’s interests, added Kaplan in the blog post.