The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Devi Pradeep Kumar, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Social network sites are the universal communication platform. It enables the freedom of sharing feelings with your community anywhere in the world. The best user-friendly access for everyone on a single click. It providing the better user interface to post everything to spread the message in the public domain. But recent happenings and researches are showing the dark side of expressing freedom of ‘abuse’ someone. These are re-defining the meaning of “freedom”. Many countries are facing the social-political issues. Even no individual has control over it. Social networks are now taking it as a challenge. They look forward to taking the measures by setting new community standards. On the other hand, lack of resources to face the problems.
According to National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) survey, nearly 99 percent, reported that Facebook, had been used as a platform for abuse. 55 percent of programs that provide support for domestic violence victims reported that revenge porn was used to perpetuate abuse against those in their programs. The same survey found that 27 percent of the programs surveyed reported that abusers had used Twitter. In order to overcome this issue many social networking sites are revising their community guidelines.
On 5th December, Reedit announced it would change its own policies to crack down on those who post unauthorized nude and explicit photos on its site. Reedit policies, the firm will not only hide the post from public view, but also lock the account of the person who posted it.
Last month Twitter came up with new community rules to prohibit users from posting of “revenge porn” intimate, and possibly explicit, images or video posted publicly without consent — to its social network.
On 15 March, The social network (1.39 billion active users worldwide) released a new version of its Community Standards. These guidelines will take some of the mystery out of what it will and will not allow. Some of these are explained below.
Authentic Identity: The company ultimately backed down, saying users can sign up with their “authentic identity,” not necessarily their legal name. The name they actually use in real life can be allowed.
Hate Speech: Facebook has listed the categories that qualified as hate speech. It includes attacking someone’s religion, race, or ethnicity. Terrorist organizations like the Islamic State have long been banned from the service. Now in addition to that, it prohibited the Supporting or praising groups involved in “violent, criminal or hateful behavior.
Content Removal: Facebook has always banned pornography. The company is for the first time explicitly banning content promoting sexual violence or exploitation, including so-called revenge porn. According to the new rules it removes pictures of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks, and restricts some images of female breasts if the nipple shows.
New Sections: Intimate images- Posting the images without permission of concerned person intended for revenge. Debilitating individuals with physical or budgetary damage, or tormenting them by presenting things planned on corrupt or disgrace them, is additionally precluded.
On the other side there were absence of assets to distinguish the content related issues. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said “We recognize this is a very challenging issue. She also explained the some of the challenges in implementing the new guidelines.
- Facebook has no plans to automatically scan for and remove potentially offensive content. It will still rely on users to report violations of the standards. The company had review teams working at all hours of the day around the globe.
- Governments also ask Facebook to take down the posts. The transparency report, which discloses country-by-country information on government requests for user data and the removal of content.
It is the challenging time for many social networking sites. They succeeded in finding the problem and providing guidelines. Now it’s time for execution to protect the community.
- The New York Times