What you can and can’t post on Facebook

Facebook has posted an update on its Community Standards, the “guidepost for what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook”.

“As we’ve grown and introduced new products, features and services, our Community Standards have become more expansive and nuanced,” said Facebook’s Monika Bickert, Vice President for Global Policy Management.

“The goal of our Community Standards is to create a place for expression.”

Based on the above, Facebook has focused on four pillars for its guidelines, which dictate whether what you post will be allowed on the platform.

  • Authenticity – The content must be authentic. Facebook cannot be used to misrepresent who users are or what they are doing.
  • Safety – Facebook must be a safe place. Expression that threatens people or will intimidate, exclude, or silence others isn’t allowed.
  • Privacy – Personal privacy and information must be protected.
  • Dignity – Facebook expect users to respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others.

Bickert added that Facebook will allow content through that goes against their policies, as long as it is newsworthy and in the public interest.

Facebook’s full statement on the matter is below.

Full statement

Today, we’re expanding the values that serve as the basis for our Community Standards — the guidepost for what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook. For more than a decade, we’ve focused on giving people voice, making Facebook a safe place and applying our policies consistently and fairly around the world.

Those values remain important to us. However, as we’ve grown and introduced new products, features and services, our Community Standards have become more expansive and nuanced. The values we’re publishing today reflect the policies we’ve developed over time and what we stand for as a company.

Our commitment to giving people voice remains paramount. We also focus on authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity in writing and enforcing our Community Standards. We’ve updated the preamble to our Community Standards to reflect these values and included it below to help people understand the environment we want to foster on Facebook.

Voice

The goal of our Community Standards is to create a place for expression and give people voice. Building community and bringing the world closer together depends on people’s ability to share diverse views, experiences, ideas and information.

We want people to be able to talk openly about the issues that matter to them, even if some may disagree or find them objectionable. In some cases, we allow content which would otherwise go against our Community Standards – if it is newsworthy and in the public interest.

We do this only after weighing the public interest value against the risk of harm, and we look to international human rights standards to make these judgments.

A commitment to expression is paramount, but we recognize the internet creates new and increased opportunities for abuse. For these reasons, when we limit expression we do it in service of one or more of the following values:

  • Authenticity: We want to make sure the content people are seeing on Facebook is authentic. We believe that authenticity creates a better environment for sharing, and that’s why we don’t want people using Facebook to misrepresent who they are or what they’re doing.
  • Safety: We are committed to making Facebook a safe place. Expression that threatens people has the potential to intimidate, exclude or silence others and isn’t allowed on Facebook.
  • Privacy: We are committed to protecting personal privacy and information. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves, and to choose how and when to share on Facebook and to connect more easily.
  • Dignity: We believe that all people are equal in dignity and rights. We expect that people will respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others.

Our Community Standards apply to everyone around the world, and to all types of content. They’re designed to be comprehensive – for example, content that might not be considered hateful may still be removed for violating a different policy.

We recognize that words mean different things or affect people differently depending on their local community, language or background. We work hard to account for these nuances while also applying our policies consistently and fairly to people and their expression.

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What you can and can’t post on Facebook