In wake of the New Zealand mass shooting, Facebook announced yesterday it’s taking action to mitigate abuse of its Live feature.
In a blog post titled Protecting Facebook Live from Abuse and Investing in Manipulated Media Research, Guy Rosen—VP of Integrity at Facebook—wrote the platform will begin to restrict access of Facebook Live to those who promote terrorism, hate speech, and violence. They updated community standards as it relates to Dangerous Organizations and Individuals.
Before today, if someone posted content that violated our Community Standards — on Live or elsewhere — we took down their post. If they kept posting violating content we blocked them from using Facebook for a certain period of time, which also removed their ability to broadcast Live. And in some cases, we banned them from our services altogether, either because of repeated low-level violations, or, in rare cases, because of a single egregious violation (for instance, using terror propaganda in a profile picture or sharing images of child exploitation).
Here’s what the new policy looks like, including a “one strike” policy—including a 30-day ban on the feature for the first offense or similar period of time:
Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live. We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time.
Facebook has faced immense scrutiny for not responding to graphic violent content in a timely manner like the New Zealand shooting.
In the case of terrorism and graphic violence, this could serve a necessary purpose. However, with respect to what falls under the purview of hate speech, will this new policy evenly apply to content across ideological spectrums or just single out conservative content that is deemed “hate speech” as previous efforts have shown? What will fall under the confines of hate speech? That remains to be seen.
We’ll continue to follow this here at The Resurgent.