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    Los Angeles Times: A look into Facebook’s judicial system

    The Los Angeles Times’ technology blog has an interesting post on the “judicial system” of Facebook, the social-networking site. “Facebook is a place where a significant sect of the global population spends minutes or hours a day. There’s no public trials, juries of peers or leniency for playground bullies. Governing in the land of Facebook is on the shoulders of” only a few: CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of policy communications, and a team of enforcers, reports the Los Angeles Times.

    Facebook has more active users than the U.S. population. (Last week, Zuckerberg announced the site had more than 350 million users.) But the site’s rules are significantly stricter than free-speech laws in the United States. […]

    Despite Facebook’s sincere attempt to sensibly present its terms of use agreement, much is left up to interpretation.

    Point No. 7 in the 12 “safety” stipulations every Facebook user agreed to at sign-up reads, “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

    What’s nudity? The policy enforcers at Facebook, a team of more than 100 spread out in offices around the world, including Northern California, London and Dublin, struggled with that question earlier this year. A legion of angry mothers revolted in response to the company removing photos of women breastfeeding. […]

    “We only act on things that are reported to us,” [Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of policy communications,] said during an interview at Facebook’s campus in Palo Alto. The vast majority of those reports come in the form of buttons throughout the site that users can click to highlight offensive content. So, if your au naturel pose gets zapped, blame a friend.

    Facebook actually takes action on less than half of all reports. “They’re actually stricter than we are,” Schnitt said about Facebook’s sort of neighborhood watchdogs.

    Occasionally, reports come from federal investigators. Yes, some people have tried to use Facebook to sell drugs.

    Schnitt also told the L.A. Times that Facebook doesn’t allow “hatred of individuals or hatred of protected groups,” but doesn’t say what those protected groups are.

    One Response to “Los Angeles Times: A look into Facebook’s judicial system”

    1. Tweets that mention Privacy Lives » Blog Archive » Los Angeles Times: A look into Facebook’s judicial system -- Topsy.com Says:

      […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Calo, Fausty. Fausty said: RT @hartzog (via @rcalo): Facebook's "judicial system." http://bit.ly/5LdNCz {moral: a closed, commercially-owned "community" is fail -f} […]

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