Facebook announced its policy for deleting posts, including getting rid of content that could put users in financial jeopardy. The explanation comes after the social media site removed four Pages associated with Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“Facebook is not a government, but it is a platform for voices around the world. We moderate content shared by billions of people, and we do so in a way that gives free expression maximum possible range,” wrote Richard Allan, VP of Policy at Facebook. “But there are critical exceptions: We do not, for example, allow content that could physically or financially endanger people, that intimidates people through hateful language or that aims to profit by tricking people using Facebook.”
According to reports, Facebook’s policy includes threats of ruining someone’s credit, calling for people to burglarize their homes or blocking them from employment. While these are not physical threats, they can do real-world damage to victims.
This latest announcement comes as Facebook is working to protect its users from being exposed to hoaxes and fake news. With that in mind, the company announced in March that it is now “fact-checking” photos and videos in an effort to prevent hoaxes and false news stories from making their way to the site. The fact-checking launched in France with the help of news organization AFP. The project will expand to more countries and partners, said Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, in a briefing.
The work is part of “efforts to fight false news around elections,” she said.
The decision is no doubt the result of the revelation that the personal data of 50 million Facebook users was harvested by political firm Cambridge Analytica and used to help the Trump presidential campaign. And last October, it was reported that as many as 126 million Americans, accounting for a third of the nation’s population, were exposed to content placed on Facebook by Russian sources during the 2016 elections.