Facebook will not delete videos of violent death, abortion and self-harm, leaked guidelines show

Facebook will not delete videos of violent death, abortion and self-harm, leaked guidelines show


FacebookCREDIT: REGIS DUVIGNAU/REUTERS


Facebook is refusing to delete videos and images of "violent death", abortion and self-harm because the web giant does not want to censor its users, it has emerged.

The American social media giant also allows people to live stream attempts to self-harm because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress”.

The website's ethical guidelines, which were leaked to The Guardian, revealed that it has instructed staff not to remove controversial content which many would find deeply offensive.

It comes amid a growing row over Facebook's responsibility to remove offensive material from its site. MPs have repeatedly called on the company to do more to take down violent content.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said last week she would bring in new powers to force companies like Facebook to explain why they have failed to remove harmful content.

Language such as ‘I’m going to kill you’ or ‘F*** off and die’ is not credible and is a violent expression of dislike and frustrationFacebook guildelines

But the leaked documents revealed that Facebook moderators - of which there are only 4,500 to police the accounts of nearly 2 billion users - are instructed to delete controversial material only in certain circumstances.

The documents include more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts on how Facebook moderates issues such as violence, hate speech, pornography and racism.

Videos of abortions were allowed, the documents claimed, as long as there is no nudity while the website will allow people to livestream attempts to self-harm because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress”.

Another document said all “handmade” art showing nudity and sexual activity was allowed but digitally made art showing sexual activity is not.

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