Facebook targets terror, bullying, nudity, fake names

Social networking giant Facebook has updated its “community standards” policies, explaining its position on controversial topics such as hate speech from terrorist groups, cyber bullying, nudity and use of real names.

In a move sure to please the Australian Government, which recently warned of the dangers posed by terrorist groups using social media, the new community standards prohibit accounts related to dangerous organisations.

Pages deemed to promote bullying, self-injury, criminal activity, violence and more are also disallowed.

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Those profiles used to shame individuals or post digitally altered images that degrade people also do not meet Facebook’s standards.

The issue of terrorist organisations using Facebook to spread their messages has been criticised by some world leaders, and last month Prime Minister Tony Abbott was scathing of terrorist groups’ use of social media.

“Every single day, the Islamist death cult and its supporters churn out up to 100,000 social media messages in a variety of languages,” Mr Abbott said.

“Often, they are slick and well produced.

“That’s the contagion that’s infecting people, grooming them for terrorism.”

Facebook said the policies and standards themselves were not changing but it felt it was necessary to provide more clarity and examples.

Breastfeeding photos given all clear on Facebook

While many community standards detail restrictions of what can be posted on Facebook, the organisation appears to have bowed to public campaigns regarding the display of women breastfeeding and further clarified that policy.

“We always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring,” Facebook said.

“We restrict the display of nudity because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content – particularly because of their cultural background or age,” it said.

In the past some women have posted images of themselves breastfeeding, dubbed “brelfies” to campaign against what they claimed was Facebook’s practice of sometimes removing images of breastfeeding.

Facebook has also said that members should use their “authentic identity”.

“When people stand behind their opinions and actions with their authentic name and reputation, our community is more accountable,” it said.

Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox last year said that people’s authentic name could be different to their “real name” after criticisms that drag queens had accounts on the social network removed.

According to media reports about 83 million Facebook accounts are in fake names.

People who wish to report accounts or content on Facebook can click on the “…” button next to a profile image and then hit the “report” option.

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