Over the past 10 years, Facebook’s guidelines on what content should be banned has grown from one page to 1,400, which is more pages than many Bibles.
Laurence Dodds of the Telegraph newspaper of London went inside the room where the social-media giant decides what its 2.3 billion users can and cannot see, the Media Research Center noted in a blog post.
The book is only for the internal use of some 15,000 content moderators.
Dodd said the Content Standards Forum — comprised of representatives from Facebook’s policy, research, software design and content moderation teams — meets every two weeks to consider proposed changes to the speech rules.
The original one-page guideline apparently prohibited only “Hitler and naked people,” the Telegraph reported. Otherwise, Facebook instructed its moderators to remove content based on “gut feel.”
Dodds said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and “controversies” have had a role in shaping and guiding the current rules.
MRC observed that while Facebook says it’s trying not to “intervene in a country’s political debates,” its employees seem to be doing otherwise.
One employee, the Telegraph reported, expressed a concern that “exemptions might be giving politicians a perverse incentive to push the boundaries.”
MRC noted Facebook frequently censors political content.
An ad from President Trump’s campaign in the 2018 midterm, for example, was tagged as “offensive.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham was suspended by Facebook for an old post criticizing an LGBTQ initiative.