Facebook has amended its censorship policies to allow for graphic posts if they are considered newsworthy in public interest. The company’s vice-presidents, Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky, on Friday said the company would collaborate with “experts, publishers, journalists, photographers, law enforcement officials and safety advocates” to incorporate the change. The move follows criticism of the social networking site’s policies that restrict graphic images without any notice or negotiation.
The official statement said, “We are going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards.” The vice-presidents said the update aimed at allowing more images and stories without infringing on safety considerations or allowing graphic images to be accessed by minors or “others who do not want to see them”.
Facebook had drawn severe criticism for deleting a post depicting the Pulitzer prize-winning photo of the “napalm girl” and was forced to allow it. On April 30, the company announced it would only take down “offensive content” if it was issued a legal or government notice in India.
The company was slammed for censoring posts including those about a Californian rapist, pages of Palestinian journalists, removing a video of environmental protestors, banning a Black Lives Matter activist, and deleting the profile of a Chicagoan artist, The Guardian reported. Facebook was also in the news last week for removing the Swedish Cancer Society’s breast cancer-awareness video.