Facebook allows users to allude to a public figure’s death, as long because the figure isn’t “purposefully exposed” to that.
Facebook’s anti-harassment policies unravel when it involves the treatment of public figures. The platform’s rules reportedly allow users to involve the death of public figures with no repercussions.
Public Figures Are Subject to Harassment on Facebook
The Guardian received pages of leaked internal guidelines for Facebook moderators, and its report reveals a number of the shocking policies that Facebook’s moderators abide by. Perhaps the foremost alarming is Facebook’s leniency towards the bullying of public figures.
The leaked guidelines blatantly state that users can involve the death of a name, which is otherwise prohibited when aimed towards the typical user. Facebook may consider someone a name as long as they’re over 18 and are not “involuntarily” popular.
Besides your typical celebrity, Facebook also considers politicians, journalists, and other people who have over 100,000 followers on social media to be public figures. This suggests even smaller public figures and native celebrities could also be subject to harassment.
If a user tags a name during a post calling for their death, only then will Facebook take action. the rules also state that public figures cannot be “exposed” to any post “that praises, celebrates or mocks their death or serious physical injury.”
In other words, saying these hateful remarks on Facebook is ok, as long as you do not direct the figure to your post in any way.
“For public figures, we remove attacks that are severe also as certain attacks where the general public figure is directly tagged within the post or comment,” the rules say. However, this policy changes when applied to an everyday person: “For private individuals, our protection goes further: we remove content that’s meant to degrade or shame.”
A Facebook spokesperson skilled The Guardian’s findings during a statement to the outlet, noting:
We think it is vital to permit critical discussion of politicians and people within the limelight. But that does not mean we allow people to abuse or harass them on our apps. We remove hate speech and threats of great harm regardless of who the target is, and we’re exploring more ways to guard public figures from harassment.
Facebook’s Rules Don’t Seem Fair
Facebook states that it’ll remove any death threats directed towards a name, but it still allows users to involve their death.
Facebook seems unfair to throw away its anti-bullying policies for public figures, as Facebook may consider a small-town journalist a name. This provides malignant users plenty of room to potentially harass and bully more minor celebrities.