After being on the receiving end of fierce criticism over the removal of newsworthy posts, Facebook has announced it is to relax its rules on censorship.
The social media giant has said that graphic and violent posts which it deems to be ‘newsworthy’ or in the public interest will be allowed to remain on the social network.
The change could mean that you will suddenly start seeing violent videos or images that had previously been deemed inappropriate appearing in your Newsfeed.
“We’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant or important to public interest – even if they might otherwise violate our standards,” announced Facebook’s vice presidents Justin Osofsky and Joel Kaplan.
Last month, Facebook was the subject of widespread criticism after it censored an iconic image taken during the Vietnam War, known as “Napalm Girl” and more recently removed a breast cancer awareness video.
Regarding the removal of the Napalm Girl photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “an image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography.
“In this case, we recognise the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”
Facebook also later reinstated the breast cancer awareness video but after criticism following both incidents has said it will introduce “new tools and approaches to enforcement” that allow sensitive images to be posted if they are “newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards”.