The Guardian blew up a quiet Sunday with its exposé on Facebook’s internal guidelines for content moderators on how to deal with posts involving sex, violence, and terrorism submitted by its 2 billion users. More than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets, and flowcharts were obtained by the Guardian, which published several stories detailing the rules, some of which have raised concerns among moderators due to their “inconsistency and peculiar nature.” Among them:
• Due to the onslaught of posts that may be inappropriate, moderators are so overwhelmed they often have “just 10 seconds” to make up their minds.
• Facebook gets 6.5 million reports a week involving potentially fake accounts.
• Prominent people are more protected, so that a post saying “Someone shoot Trump” is recommended for deletion, while more graphic threats such as “To snap a bitch’s neck, make sure to apply all your pressure to the middle of her throat” are permitted.
• Some videos of violent deaths are permitted, because “they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.”