While censorship is generally frowned upon in the West, it's sometimes easy to forget that Facebook has 1.7 billion users and some regulation simply needs to be put in place due to the sheer variety of content that people post. As Joel Kaplan, the company's vice president of global public policy recently explained, it's often hard to figure out whether some content is offensive or even illegal in some countries. Going too far with liberal community guidelines has landed Facebook in trouble with certain governments in the past but the same can be said for the way in which the social media giant has sometimes handled news stories censorship.
In other words, when you're running a social media service with close to two billion users, you simply can't please everyone. Facebook is aware of that but that doesn't mean the company gave up on finding that golden mean which would make the largest number of people happy. Following that line of thinking, Facebook's latest experiment won't directly change its community standards but as Kaplan explained earlier today, it will allow for exceptions to these rules in certain scenarios. More specifically, Facebook will soon change its content regulation in a way which will enable displaying of more graphic content provided that the thereof is important enough. Important as in newsworthy, that is.
In a short press release published earlier today, Kaplan explained that the Internet giant is currently working extremely closely with its partners and general community in order to figure out what kind of content would be important enough to warrant an exception to general community standards. Nevertheless, the company's executive stated that Facebook still won't risk allowing content which would pose a safety risk to anyone or present graphic images to its underage users and anyone else who doesn't want to see them. Unfortunately, Kaplan didn't go into any more details regarding this upcoming change. We do know that this approach will be implemented in the coming weeks but there's still no word on what exactly it will entail. Still, given the subjective nature of judging newsworthy content, it's to be presumed that Facebook will employ more actual moderators who will judge content on a case-by-case basis. More information will hopefully follow soon.