Agitation Opportunity: Facebook’s Secret Censorship Policy Docs Exposed

If you’ve ever wanted to know the criteria that Facebook is using to censor content and what constitutes “violation of community standards,” wonder no longer. A German newspaper got the internal Facebook censorship documents explaining what’s “naughty” and what’s “nice.”

While you might be tempted to read through it, get thoroughly angry, and dismiss the whole thing, I encourage you to look further and deeper. These documents tell you exactly how to get away with a great deal, if you’re so inclined. Here’s an example:

 A protected category (PC for short) combined with another protected category results in yet another protected category. Take Irish women, for instance. Here, the “national origins” and “sex” categories apply. So if someone were to write “Irish women are dumb,” they would be breaking the rules and their post would be deleted.

However, combining a protected category with an unprotected category results in an unprotected category. Irish teenagers are the example. While they are protected under the national origin category, the term teenager does not enjoy special protection (the same applies to terms such as “retiree” or “youth”, for instance). For this reason, the sentence “Irish teenagers are dumb” does not need to be deleted.

Stupid, right? Yes. It is. But there’s more. Note, for instance, the very subtle distinction in the upper right corner of the image below. You can’t say “f—g Muslims,” but you CAN say “f—migrants.” Calling refugees “rapefugees” is considered naughty but saying “this group is for blacks only” is okay.

The bottom line is this: It’s crap. It’s all crap. I get it. Facebook sucks, etc. However, it’s up to you whether you want to walk away and stop using it (and God knows there’s a long list of reasons to do so), or whether you want to use their own system against them. Agitation is fun. And if you know you’re standing in the minefield, but you’re holding a map showing where the mines are, that comes in handy when the people you’re arguing with don’t have one. Think outside the box.