Facebook censorship exposed

22/02/2012

The rules determining the type of content that is deemed acceptable on social networking site Facebook have been revealed after an internal censorship document was leaked by an ex-employee.

Gawker.com was given the manual by a former worker at outsourcing firm oDesk, which Facebook employs to moderate the content that its users flag as inappropriate on the site.

Using the manual, oDesk workers trawl through Facebook's flagged content and delete any posts that contravene the rules.

The 'Abuse Standard Violations' proposed by the document seem to vary in strictness, with "images of drunk and unconscious people" outlawed, but "deep flesh wounds and excessive blood ok to show".

Facebook has been involved in a number of disputes in recent years, including with a breast feeding group whose page was deleted.

Content moderation has also raised concerns about the potential psychological trauma those charged with sifting through flagged material may experience.

One former oDesk worker who spoke to Gawker said: "I think it's ultimately my fault for underestimating just how disturbing it'd be."