A couple of weeks ago, Gawker
published the guidelines that Facebook uses
to decide whether to delete content. A disgruntled employee of the company that Facebook contracts to moderate the site leaked the document.
Facebook has stumbled into a number of high-profile PR crises due to its censoring of content, from deleting pictures of women breastfeeding their children to pulling a photo of two men kissing. The guidelines informing these decisions present a whole other PR problem, said Joanna Morley, a social media & online PR manager at SiteVisibility
In a post for The Wall blog
this week, Morley wrote:
“This is a real big PR mess for Facebook who recently announced plans to float Facebook on the stock exchange for $5 billion. This of course won’t affect that at all, but the world having knowledge of these inconsistent rules will have a short-term impact on their reputation.”
A Harris Interactive poll
conducted in January (before the release of the guidelines) found that 25 percent of Americans have a negative view of Facebook. The poll results, part of Harris’s 13th annual Reputation Quotient
• People do not trust Facebook to do the right thing if faced with a problem.
• People do not believe Facebook maintains high ethical standards.
• People do not believe Facebook is sincere in its communications.
• People do not believe Facebook is transparent in its communications.
As Morley said, the social network’s march towards its IPO—not to mention its nearly 1 billion members
—suggests the release of its guidelines will do little to significantly hurt its bottom line.
The guidelines are worth perusing, which you can do here
. In the meantime, we compiled some of the more salacious and bizarre posts Facebook will delete, along with some that make a lot of sense:
1. Pictures with “any obvious sexual activity—even if naked parts are hidden from view.” (Foreplay, such as kissing or groping, is permitted, regardless of the person’s sexuality.)
2. Naked breastfeeding photos or pictures in which the nipple is clearly exposed.
3. Digital cartoon nudity; art nudity is OK.
4. Pictures of marijuana are OK as long as the user isn’t buying, selling, or growing it.
5. “Slurs or racial comments of any kind.”
6. “Versus photos” comparing two people—or an animal and a person—side by side.
7. Photo-shopped images showing a person in a negative light.
8. Images of drunk and unconscious people, or “sleeping people with things drawn on their faces.”
9. Pictures showing or approving of animal cruelty, unless it’s a depiction of food processing or hunting.
10. Violent speech (for example, “I love hearing skulls crack.”)
11. Pictures of charred, mutilated or decapitated people.
12. Images of “internal organs, bones, muscle and tendons”; however, “deep flesh wounds” and “excessive blood” are permitted, as are “crushed heads, limbs, etc. as long as no insides are showing.”
13. Holocaust denial.
14. Attacks on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of Turkey.
15. Credible threats of violence, threats against heads of state and law enforcement, and any credible “indication of terrorist activity or organized crime.”
16. Threats or serious promotion of suicide.
17. Supporting groups, people and symbols that advocate and promote eating disorders as a lifestyle.
18. Images of Self-mutilation.