Facebook begin to notify users about the nature of the materials that are marked as graphics. The innovation is intended to ensure informed consent of users to view them. The company also plans to restrict access to such content for users aged 13-17 years.
Over the past two years Facebook has demonstrated different approaches with respect to the graphic content on the site.
In 2013, the social network obeyed wave of public outrage, online petitions and harsh criticism from users and decided to ban the graphic video beheading women that have been circulating on the site.
Several months later, Facebook changed its attitude towards this issue. The company lifted its ban on the above video and thus introduced a new policy governing the content of this kind.
In speed after that, were made official changes in community norms Facebook. Below – an excerpt from the document relating to the graphic content:
«Facebook has long been a place where people share their experiences and discuss important issues. Sometimes these discussions are accompanied by the publication of graphic material that may be related to the public interest, such as human rights violations or acts of terrorism. In most cases, users place such materials to condemn such actions. However, violence, released to promote the sadistic cruelty and violence have no place on our site.
We hope that users will take responsibility for the publication of materials. This also implies careful selection of the target audience for them. When you publish a video, which contains scenes of violence, it is necessary to notify the audience about the nature of the video, so that users can make an informed choice – to watch or not to watch it. “
In this case, there is a caveat – the expectation that people will take responsibility for publishing content, and hope that they will warn other users that they can see the murder of a man, at least naively. However, it is unlikely Guide Facebook so naive in their expectations.
That is why the company has laid the foundation for his most recent step in this direction more in 2013:
“First of all, when we consider the materials of which we reported as a violation of the rules, we try to consider their integrity, given the context of the video or image. We definitely remove content glorifying violence and cruelty. Second, we look at whether these materials are available to the responsible position – ie if they are accompanied by warning users about their content and whether they shared with the appropriate age audience, “- said a company representative.
Facebook really experimented with display warnings about the nature of the content of graphic materials, but they do not extend to all such content.
Now the situation has changed. At present, the warning appears in the upper part of the video of the death of a police officer Ahmed Merabeta (Ahmed Merabet), who was killed during the attack on the editor of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
One of the users of the social network asked the question in the Help Center, Facebook: «Why do I see a warning before I can view a photo or video?”.
“People come to Facebook, to share their experiences and to raise their awareness of the issues important to them. To help people share content responsibly, we can limit the visibility of a photo or video containing graphic content. Such materials may appear accompanied by warning, allowing other users to know about the content of the materials before watching them. In addition, this type of content can only see users older than 18 years “,- said the representative of Facebook.
A company spokeswoman told BBC, that it “engineers are still looking for ways to further improve the scheme,” which may include “adding warnings to the relevant video YouTube».
Apparently, Facebook has undergone both external and internal – by the Council for security monitoring – pressure, forcing him to take steps to ensure the protection of users (especially children) from graphic materials of questionable content.
Video thrives in to Facebook. In the social network is, on average, more than 1 billion video views every day – almost 1 per person view. In 2014, the number of video publications increased by 75% globally and 94% in the US.
Last week, the company acquired the QuickFire Networks to improve the availability of video content. Facebook is trying to build their own video platform because it allows to increase the involvement of users and potential ad revenue. At the same time, the company encourages creators to publish video materials on their social platform.
These changes are important to advertisers. What else is important to them? That their advertising is not exhibited before or after a video in which a man decapitated. Adding warnings to the graphic content – a sensible move.
It allows you to Facebook to leave graphic content on the site and to provide the so-called “freedom of speech”. In addition, this step enables advertisers feel safer about their advertising on the site, but also shifts the responsibility in this matter to users – now it’s their choice, watch any video, image, or not.